This is the compilation of all chapters from Jay Conrad Levinson's book America At Work.
Chapter 1: The Unfair Advantage
Chapter 2: The Virtual Guerrilla
Chapter 3: Marketing Your Small Business
Chapter 4: The Business of Customers
Chapter 5: Zero to Sixty in Thirty Days
Chapter 6: Saving Money by Saving Time
Chapter 7: The Benefits Of Collaboration
Chapter 8: Mining the Treasures Of The Internet
Chapter 9: Ten technologies that can deliver high returns
Chapter 10: Guerilla Marketing With a Secret Weapon
Chapter 1: The Unfair Advantage
In this chapter:
What the heck is easy-tech?
So much is coming down the pike!
Do-it-yourself guerrilla marketing
The weapons of technology
There's a person at each end
Does high technology mean high anxiety?
The upside to downsizing
Just what is guerrilla marketing?
The rules are changing and that's not all
YOU CAN BE IN THIS BOOK!
About Jay Conrad Levinson
Chapter 1 Reader Q&A
Today, success as an entrepreneur is easier to achieve than ever.
the millions have discovered why. They've discovered that almost
small business has changed during the past ten years, leaving
the little guy
with a secret weapon that gives him-and her-an unfair advantage.
Easy-to-use, easy-to-afford technology enables the little guys
to appear as
large, as expert and as important as the big guys, to market with
the power and
dazzle of the titans. Small business can now wow their prospects
with full-color brochures, visually-exciting newsletters, animated
and the list is growing. The technology to produce those marketing
traditionally reserved for the big spenders. But now, without
the need to spend
big, it is in the domain of the guerrilla marketer. Truth is,
guerrilla's secret weapon.
With absolutely zero background in technology, it is now possible
entrepreneur to enter new arenas, once off limits due to high
cost, and win
business and profits with effective marketing weapons borne of
online focus groups, international marketing partners, data-laden
lists, and lots more. They're now accessible at the clicking of
a mouse or the
pressing of a return key.
What the heck is easy-tech?
The name for this technology is "easy-tech," because
although it produces
results usually associated with the highest of the high tech,
it may be
mastered and used with incredible skill even by low-tech business
ought to know. I am one of the lowest.
I've word-processed with a computer since l983, sold my books
in over 50
nations through the Internet on my own web site, published a newsletter
l984, hosted a myriad of online conferences and chat sessions,
online marketing column for three years, co-authored four books
even co-authored two books about cyberspace, but I've still never
peered into a
computer manual, taken a computer course or received instruction
on what makes
my computer work. I don't even care why it works. I only care
that it's easy
There is no question that I certainly would have opted for instruction
if my immense ignorance stopped me. But it never did. So I never
instruction in things technical. Hey, I don't know why my car
works either, but
I can drive it.
So much is coming down the pike!
There are many new technologies coming down the pike these days,
so many that
it's easy to be overwhelmed and decide to resist all of them.
Bad idea. For the
rest of your life, change will be rapid and prices will drop.
companies have four different product cycles throughout the year,
each of which
makes the past one outdated. Still, eventually, you're going to
have to dive
into the potent flow of advancement if you're to succeed in your
The sooner, the better. Wait too long and the waters will truly
be over your
head. v This book isn't going to examine all the technologies
blossoming today, only those that can be of immediate use to small
owners. Guerrillas are rarely as interested in the distant horizon
as they are in the here and now technologies. They are always
ways to eliminate errors, increase speed, pick up their efficiency,
their effectiveness, generate new profits for their business,
and allow for
more balance in their lives.
They do not view technology as an end in itself, though much of
is remarkably enticing. Instead, they see it as the means to an
end -- the end
of enjoying their work so much that the journey becomes the goal.
Most of them
would also readily admit that deep down, using thetechnology is
a blast in
Do-it-yourself guerrilla marketing
New and continuing advancements in technology, especially computer
permit small business owners to engage in do-it-yourself guerrilla
with a wide array of marketing weapons, all simple enough to develop
small-office or home-office environment, yet capable of generating
associated only with big business.
Never before in history has small business been provided with
so many tools to
flourish and prosper. Technology allows them to compete with big
equal terms. It lets them produce for themselves marketing materials
required high-paid outsiders. It enables them to master the art
With absolutely no fear of being labeled computer geeks or techno-nerds,
are able to use technology as their ticket for admission to profit
almost limitless data, an office connected to a network of offices
electronically, the Internet, information-sharing, warm customer
state-of-the-moment convenience, and comforting profits.
The weapons of technology
It allows them to market and interact with the weapons of newsletters,
brochures, fliers, web sites, catalogs, faxes, direct mail, research
questionnaires, and signs. It lets them climb effortlessly and
technical and marketing innocence to technical and marketing excellence.
Where geography once limited them to their own community, the
them to compete in the global community. Where once they had to
deal with the
time demands and perils of commuting, their home office has cut
down to a stroll in their slippers, changed their attire from
comfy. They're spending more time with their families. They're
time at work.
The technology that is happening all around us is not as much
a revolution as
it is a permanent condition. So it's not going to go away. It's
only going to
get better. Prices will drop lower. No matter how long you wait,
still be something more advanced and less costly coming up in
During that instant, there are many customers to be attracted,
to be earned. If you don't attract and earn them, somebody else
they'll use technology to do it.
There's a person at each end
Guerrillas have learned, to their delight, that technology has
far less to do
with machines than it does with people. When you're communicating
someone, you're not connecting with a machine; you're connecting
with a person.
You're only using a machine to do it. Keep in mind that telephones
about electricity. They're all about people. Few of us can explain
telephones work, but all of us can make a phone call.
Okay, I admit that I was once a serious techno-phobe, scared to
death of things
technical. Why do you suppose I never cracked the cover of a computer
manual? I thought I'd get a migraine by the second page. And you
something? I was probably right. I didn't need a techno-shrink.
I merely needed
easier technology. And now I have it. You do, too. The doors to
free time have been opened for you not as much by technology as
much as by
easy-to-use technology - easy-tech, as I mentioned. If you've
technology, as I did, you'll now find it irresistible, as I did.
And a lot of
fun, as I do. I just love it, and I never thought I would ever
say that out in
Easy-tech lets you replace your fears with self-confidence. It
lets you do in
30 minutes what used to take 30 hours. Ever think you, personally,
a spiffy-looking newsletter in just half an hour? Well, you can.
yourself. Ever think you could create your own web site from scratch?
again. Easy-tech lets low-tech people utilize high-tech guerrilla
Is that fair? Darned right it's fair! Small businesses have long
prohibited from taking on the Goliaths due to the high price of
the competitive fray. But technology is to small business as the
to David when he took on his Goliath. It's about time something
came along to
level out the playing field. And that's just what technology does.
Does high technology mean high anxiety?
As complex as computers used to be when they took up an entire
room, that's how
simple they are today, when they take up an entire lap. High technology
longer means high anxiety. But technology itself doesn't do the
trick. It never
does. A guerrilla is needed to breathe life into what technology
Guerrillas, such as those you'll read of in this book during the
months, are using technology to shape their destinies, redefine
extend their boundaries, achieve and surpass their goals.
America is working in a new way. Small business is not only growing
at a faster
pace than ever, with more than two million start-ups predicted
for l996, it is
also succeeding at a higher rate than ever.
Home-based businesses are skyrocketing! Full-time and part-time
businesses are up to 24.3 million, up 2.1 million from l995. Link
reports that 95% of these businesses will survive. That's no typo.
reality, l996 style. Only 5% of these home-based enterprises have
dust each year for the past three years. The success rate is far
that of non home-based businesses. Every 11 seconds, another home-based
starts up. Average income: $50,250. U.S. average income: $26,000.
The upside to downsizing
The massive downsizing that destroyed the dreams of so many families
upside. It forced many people into forming businesses of their
that new technology was simpler than they thought, less expensive
thought, that it put success within their grasp.
Lest you think technology is your guarantee of success, you're
wrong. Running your own business requires self-discipline. It
requires a sense
of organization. It demands determination. And it's not for everybody.
don't have a boss to keep you on track. You must keep all the
promises you make
to yourself. If you can live with those parameters, then technology
ease your way. It can help save you from that dread affliction
self-employed -- workaholism, by saving your time. The key is
to keep it as
your tool and not as your master.
The cost for all the technology I've been referring to will run
you less than
$4,000. That covers the cost of a good computer to serve as your
techno-centerpiece, a speedy modem to transport you throughout
also enable you to send and receive faxes, a laser printer so
documents have credibility, a scanner so that you can add graphic
your communications, and a phone line dedicated solely to your
technology. And finally, you'll want the computer software to
give wings to
your dreams. Want to invest more than $4,000 in your bright future?
you don't have to.
Of course, if you're reading this online, you already have most
technology and are already thinking about upgrading to more speed,
more power. I fully agree with the person who said you can't be
too rich, too
thin, or have too much processing power. Still, I know some of
you are reading
this in book form, seriously contemplating the plunge into technology.
here I am, gently pushing you into the pool while assuring you
that you can
swim, that the water's fine, and that marketing is a whole lot
easier if you're
Just what is guerrilla marketing?
Guerrilla marketing is the kind of marketing where you don't have
your money as much as your time, energy and imagination. It asks
that you base
your performance on profits, not sales. It suggests that you to
goals by the number of relationships you make, not the number
of dollars you
take in. It encourages you to snuggle up to technology now more
because it can help you make your way through a business environment
more competitive than ever. With two million new businesses this
customers of today and of the future are more demanding than ever.
speed and convenience. Technology lets you offer it to them Or
Guerrilla marketing advocates that instead of being tuned in to
wanting to obliterate your competitors, you should be oriented
and wanting to co-market with other businesses. Technology makes
it easier to
spot them, easier to communicate with them, easier to work with
chapters of this book will investigate them and how to spot the
best ones for
The rules are changing and that's not all
Small business is changing because the rules are changing. The
of the consumer is changing. The way people buy is changing. Communications
changing. Expectations are changing. And the emphasis put on time
Time is more important now than ever and will only continue to
importance. People today know for certain that time is not money,
that it is
far more important than money, and that the prime purpose of technology
save that precious time.
Many of the advantages granted by easy-tech were never before
small business. Saving time, reaching new markets, marketing globally,
competing with giants, customizing their marketing, dazzling their
with service and caring, and making quantum leaps in efficiency
options to the one-man bands of yesteryear. But the easy-tech
of today puts
them within the reach of most small businesses. Some will ignore
and hope it disappears. Others will use it before their competitors
thrive and flourish in a changed world.
America at work used to conjure up sounds of people grunting,
rolling, machines clanging, and factory-whistles blaring. Now,
America at work
is the sound of people gabbing at their local coffeehouse, the
computers crunching, modems clicking, and the sound of music playing
background of the home office.
Chapter 2: The Virtual Guerrilla
All my dictionaries seem to agree that the definition of virtual
in essence or effect though not in actual fact." Funny that
I had to look it
up, because I've been a virtual guerrilla for over a quarter of
means I've been working from my own office, even when that office
was taking a
20-day drive from Chicago to San Francisco, even when it was high
in the wintry
mountains of Montana overlooking the ski slopes, even when it
went to Rio on a
The reality is that virtual these days means connected. Guerrillas,
they toil, stay connected to their customers, their bosses, their
their suppliers and to other guerrillas. They're also more connected
families, their friends, their communities, to the best that is
All those guerrillas realize that we're not really moving toward
century. It's moving towards us. And we've got to be ready for
it or it will
sweep over us, leaving the unprepared in its wake.
Virtual is a state of mind
As that 21st century looms on the near horizon, we see that virtual
really is a
word that refers to a workstyle, a lifestyle, a state of mind.
It puts people
more in control of their lives than they are in a non-virtual
offers a glorious sense of freedom, the ability to offer remarkable
to employees and customers, and perhaps most winning of all, it
permits you to
commute in your slippers. In most cases, that means a stroll from
to your home office, unless you've set it up in your bedroom.
In that case,
you've got the shortest of all possible commutes.
The first virtual office may have been the one set up in 1877
by a bank
president who put up a phone line between his office in Boston
and his home in
Somerville. He used technology. He was connected. He had the right
Today, a burgeoning 23% of the working population in the United
that same idea, are mobile workers, users of technology, connected.
nineties alone, over 12 million people have decided to work from
total number now enjoying the lush benefits of working where they
live is up to
39 million, according to IDC/Link, a marketing research firm.
In my part of the
planet in Northern California, one out of six people has a home-based
That seems to prove that the virtual office isn't far away in
the future, a
figment of science fiction. It's here with us right this very
moment, all over
the place, a bright and shining reality.
Many big organizations are now encouraging employees to set up
because of global opportunities, the chance to render 24-hour
employees wanting the freedom of virtuality. Experts say that
an employee who
works at home two days a week saves a company $12,000 a year.
Consider what is termed "yield management." Says one
worker from a virtual
office, "I am positive every dollar I earn for the company
yields more profit
because I cost the company less than my co-workers. A trend for
the future will
most likely be going after gaining the highest yield for every
earned-and spent-and placing people in more remote, untapped market
Because of the economic and humanitarian benefits, the number
offices in the U.S. is expected to grow by 20% each year through
the year 2000.
Technology is improving by getting easier and more affordable.
getting smaller and more powerful. The Internet is flourishing,
yet still in
its infancy. The wireless age is dawning, proving that you don't
need wires to
A little help from your friends
Those who confine their commuting to a virtual office are known
telecommuters. Whether they rent or own where they live, they
have opted not
for a life of independence, which you may associate with a virtual
instead, for a life of interdependence, knowing that they get
by with a little
help from their friends - a lot of friends, in the guise of independent
contractors, really interdependent contractors, each helping each
Some have their virtual offices at home while others have them
in their car,
their van, their RV, their boat. Even their Harley? Yep, even
there. If you're
connected, you're connected. Some work alone while others share
all of them are connected to each other.
My virtual office connects me to pretty much the same people and
places I was
connected when I was in a real office. Only it connects me from
a better place
than ever before-my home. And I get to take my office with me,
for the most
part. If I want.
At first, my virtual office consisted of a phone, desk and typewriter.
looked at it, you'd easily mistake it for a dining room. Now,
in a different
city, a different state and a different setting, it still looks
a lot like our
family dining room-and sometime poker parlor - than it does an
What's in a virtual office?
These days, my virtual office consists of a phone, desk, fax modem,
printer, copier, car phone and a subscription to a couple of online
I can benefit from the delightful speed and unreal convenience
of e-mail - as
well as access the information superlibrary. An important part
of my office is
my charge account with Federal Express.
When I'm even more virtual, my office may boast a laptop computer,
a cell phone
and a pager, possibly even a digital notepad or a wireless PDA
digital assistant). I might opt for a scanner so I can manipulate
now, my office does a dandy job of connecting me to information,
services - almost anywhere in the world and any time I want.
The key point here is "any time I want." When I'm in
my car, I never get calls
on my car phone because nobody knows my number. I don't want to
while I'm driving. If I want to be reached, I can be simply by
number, though I never have. If I want to be cut off from the
universe, I can
be. The joy of a virtual office is that it can be up and running
want and it can be disconnected from the world whenever you want.
As a virtual
guerrilla, you've got the option.
As soon as I started working from my virtual office, the first
thing I had to
do was to explain to my wife and daughter that even though I was
at home, I was
working. Even though I may have been clad in Levi's and a tee-shirt,
accomplishing tasks that would bring in the money to pay the bills.
If we all
hadn't become perfectly clear about that, my working from home
would have gone
awry. But my wife learned to ignore me during my working hours
and my daughter
and her friends learned to keep down the racket during that same
Another virtual worker says, "I have four children a live-in
nanny and work at
home. At first I would get interrupted often (thought I was back
in the office)
and I had to get tough about my space and respect of it with family
husband is also virtually officed and we found out very quickly
that we could
not be office mates." It's interesting how close life mates
become close office mates.
The benefits of a virtual office
I study the benefits of running a virtual office and I see that
one of them is true for my life. Increased revenue? It's more
than twice what
is was before I was virtual. Increased productivity? I can now
three days what used to take five. In fact, I've been working
a three-day week
from my virtual office since l971. Better customer service? Ask
my clients and
publishers. Increased revenue opportunities? No question about
since I've began surfing in cyberspace. Improved morale? Ask my
daughter. Ask me. The answer is yes.
You can even ask the virtual office worker who says, "I am
so much more
productive at home. Less interruptions. I am a better mother.
Although it may
not seem like much to my children, the 10 minutes I take to pick
them up at the
bus stop and chat really is valuable to all of us. Even with an
ill child I am
able to get my work done. I cost the company less in sick leave.
I never have
those days where I don't want to be in the office. I am more fit.
I often use
my lunch time for exercise or a walk - there are no more excuses."
"And what about if you need a plumber or home repair? I can
schedule this and
keep on working while they complete their job. I save a tremendous
dry cleaning and pantyhose."
Being virtual to me means I can work the hours I want, the days
I want, wear
what I want, and work from wherever I want, though I must admit
from home is my favorite place. Even though I know I can pop my
in my attach case and work from the beach, I find it hard
to work from there.
Ditto for working from the places where I take holidays. But it's
nice to know
that I can if I want.
Not all virtual office workers have as much flexibility. Says
one, "I am
virtually officed and I must stick to a schedule like all of my
Many large corporations have virtual workers that must work like
me as well."
These people may not have the complete flexibility that an individual
entrepreneur enjoys, but they have a lot more than those who toil
far from their homes.
The downside of going virtual
You often hear that the downside of a home office is loneliness.
Not me. I get
all the socializing I need during the days when I'm not in my
One of my favorite facts of the nineties is that home office growth
paralleled in its rapid increase by only one other industry: coffeehouses.
seems that people who work in virtual settings do long for face-to-face
and they get it at their neighborhood coffeehouse.
But not everybody finds a downside to being virtual. In fact,
one tells me, "I
can't come up with any downsides. Sometimes I feel a little anti-social.
don't always put my make-up on and fix my hair first thing in
anymore. When I do need to leave later in the day for appointments,
I then need
to get ready and find myself wishing I did not have to leave my
home. I have
heard my co-workers make snide remarks about being remotely based.
remotes don't "really" work as hard as they do. These
are the same people that
work from home when they really need to get some work done. I
think it is vital
to work on your own PR campaign when you are virtual. It's easy
for others to
not know what you do when you are affiliated with a large organization,
is vital to run your own PR campaign."
The virtual office does not have a glass ceiling. It provides
a higher quality
of life because it offers more opportunities for true balance
and less hours
commuting. It does not require a high overhead. But it does require
discipline. Without a boss or an associate reminding you of an
deadline, you've got to remind yourself of it, then meet it. A
guerrilla adds, "Discipline is key. Forget the laundry, dishes,
work. I don't let myself get pulled away by distractions."
She speaks the
I do three things to keep myself disciplined:
* I write tasks on my daily calendar, knowing they are promises
I make to
myself and that I don't ever want lie to myself.
* I am powerfully motivated to keep these promises because the
carrot at the
end of the stick is a four-day weekend and I know it. If I
don't keep the
promises, my weekend is shorter.
* I get immense joy from crossing tasks off my calendar, feeling
a sense of
bliss when they're all crossed off. I've learned that behaving
isn't an event, but a habit. Meeting and beating deadlines
is a way of life
After all, a goal is only a dream with a deadline. And working
from your own
home, calling your own shots, certainly is a dream existence for
promise of being able to work from home is one of the ways that
enterprises are attracting superb employees.
If you're tempted, be careful
If you're tempted to go virtual yourself, be sure you don't run
afoul of any
zoning laws, landlords or neighbors. Make certain that you've
electrical power to support your computer, fax modem, copier and
gadgets. You never want to make a copy that ends up turning off
the power in
your whole neighborhood. Don't laugh. It has happened.
To have a virtual office, you've got to have the proper space
for it. You need
a practical desk and a comfortable chair, along with decent lighting.
also got to have at least a modicum of privacy. Other than that,
it seems to
come down to the three "w's" - water, wits and being
wired. To those, you might
also add the three "d's" that are required for success
in a virtual office -
discipline, determination and details. You've got to keep those
make to yourself. You've got to realize that success means being
15 times and getting back to your feet 16 times. And you must
have a sense of
organization that prohibits you from overlooking anything. As
the wise person
said, "God is in the details."
The measurements of a virtual office
The better you are at being virtual, the more streamlined you
translates into saving time. That translates into generating profits.
the measurements of your venture into virtuality are your effectiveness,
profits, speed and morale. That includes the morale of your customers.
Your network of fellow guerrillas should be made up of people
who are virtual
already. Their familiarity with the terrain can help you. You
find all that you need in your community, but you'll probably
find a lot more
than you need scattered around the world. I've teamed up on major
working from my virtual office and using my modem, fax and phone,
guerrillas in San Francisco, Sedona, Denver, New York, Boston
and Jakarta. I
met those teammates face-to-face no more than once during the
year-long projects. The only reason we did meet was because we
wanted to, not
because we had to.
The more technology, the more you're connected
As you're beginning to glean, being virtual means using technology.
technology, the more connected you are. A Coopers & Lybrand
fast-growing small businesses revealed that revenue per employee
is two and a
half times higher for companies that are using today's technology
ignoring it, hoping it might go away.
That technology helps keep you organized, puts all of your work
in one place no
matter where you happen to be and contributes mightily to your
efficiency. The result is more productivity, better service and
profitability for your business. Technology makes you more desirable
partner to your fellow guerrillas and as a supplier to your customers.
But technology isn't the only secret weapon of guerrillas who
dwell in virtual
offices. They've discovered that it's only half the secret. You
can have all
the latest technology in the world and still fall on your virtual
you aren't armed with the proper attitudes for succeeding in a
virtual way. Not
too surprisingly, the attitudes necessary for victory on this
the same as those necessary for success at guerrilla marketing.
Arming yourself with the attitudes
These ten attitudes are every bit as important to your virtual
existence as the
speed and efficiency you'll enjoy from the machines you add to
* You operate according to a plan. Your plan is brief, clear
and able to
guide your business as well as your marketing. You base most
decisions upon this plan, review it regularly and create it
with your goals
in mind. Everyone who works with you should read and understand
Ideally, they even helped you formulate it at the outset.
Your plan even
lists the ways you will become more and more virtual with
* You grow your business by a calendar. It's a calendar that
created, outlining your marketing plans for the next year,
week by week.
This makes decision-making a simpler process. It helps you
see into the
future. It encourages you to be proactive rather than reactive.
At the end
of the year, you see how the marketing activities on your
your profits, and you make a better calendar for the next
* You are the essence of flexibility. You know that customer
anything that the customer wants it to be. Nobody has to tell
quality is the price of admission to small business success
flexibility is a competitive advantage upon which you may
hang your hat. In
an era of increasingly sophisticated customers, if you can't
break. You've learned that the more technology you embrace,
flexibility you can offer.
* You are a giver and not a taker. You are known to give valuable
for free. You offer free consultations, demonstrations, samples.
give seminars or clinics. You provide free information, brochures,
newsletters. You give gifts to customers and often to prospects
more data. You may write a column or an for a local paper
or an Internet
service -- at no charge. You give speeches about your industry
groups. No wonder people are attracted to your business. You
we're smack dab in the middle of The Information Age, and
that the Internet is brimming with information your customers
You mine the Internet for data and freely share it.
* Your business has credibility. Everything connected to your
professional and inspires confidence in you. Your stationery,
cards, brochures, flyers, even your business forms show that
substance and style, that you can be trusted. Your phone is
answered in a
way that makes callers feel good. Your office may be virtual,
excellence is real.
* You embrace the spirit of competitiveness. You realize deep
in your bones
that no matter what business others may think you're in, you're
the marketing business. That means you tingle at the very
idea of launching
a guerrilla marketing attack with a myriad of weapons, many
of them able to
be created right there in your virtual office.
* You are at ease with technology. You know that it's all simpler
to use than
ever, that it no longer is a luxury but is now an absolute
newest of the new doesn't intimidate you because you're learning
technology is adapting to users by being so friendly, it's
Whoever thought you'd be a desktop publisher? I did. And you
* You are alert for fusion opportunities. As a guerrilla, you
are as alert to
cooperation as you are to competition. You keep your entrepreneurial
attuned to fusion opportunities in marketing, services, data,
even office space. The idea of collaboration continues to
prove itself to
you as a brilliant idea in a world of interdependent guerrillas.
concept of "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine,"
itch-free as you begin to network your virtual office with
* You are the very soul of follow-up. "Relationships"
is your middle name.
You prove it by the way you're in consistent touch with your
prospects by e-mail, snail mail, faxes and phone calls. You
stay in contact
with them with newsletters, flyers, postcards, letters. They
also easy to contact, and their loyalty to you is as real
as you are
* You feel passion about your work. That passion fuels your
desire to learn
about your customers, please them, surpass their expectations.
It is a
passion that extends to those who work with you, to your suppliers,
fusion partners. It is readily apparent in the way you run
office, embracing the speed and economy it offers you as a
business as well
as the freedom and achievement it offers you as a person.
Although it's certainly not for everybody, the virtual office
becoming the office of today as well as the office of tomorrow.
precious resources are your time, your freedom and your potential.
office can contribute to your ability to save, use and invest
your time wisely,
to gain more precious freedom to do anything you want, and to
get closer in
touch with your true potential.
Chapter 3: Marketing Your Small Business
Regardless of the business you're in, you're really in the marketing
If you produce a first-rate product or render a blue-ribbon service,
quality will exist in a vacuum if you don't market your offerings
skill and aplomb of a guerrilla.
Guerrillas seek conventional goals using unconventional methods.
their own time, energy imagination into the marketing process
if they don't
have the funds, which they usually don't. They understand how
and that it's a process rather than an event. They know that time
is the ally
of the guerrilla and not the enemy. A well-crafted marketing plan
improve over time, but most small business owners lack the patience
What marketing really is
Smart marketers recognize what marketing really is -- every single
any member or part of your company makes with anyone else. Marketing
how your phone is answered, the stationery you use, your willingness
up, your hours and days of business, the neatness of your premises,
myriad of details that most people just don't consider to be marketing.
you do, you'll have a head start over these people.
The big boon to small business
Technology is easily the biggest boon to small business marketing
It gives you added firepower when using the traditional marketing
as newsletters, brochures, flyers, business cards, proposals,
certificates, flip charts and catalogs -- because it allows you
to produce them
professionally, yet easily. That gives you the credibility that
all small and
new businesses need.
* throughout the world. It lets you use your telephone or fax
machine as a
marketing tool even when you're not around. Technology makes it
you to provide the speed and responsiveness that customers of
For instance, a Web page is a great opportunity for you to build
client database. Adding a e-mail response to a Web page will allow
capture the e-mail address of people who are interested in your
service. In turn, it is a very inexpensive way to send marketing
the people who have already expressed interest in your company.
The fact that
e-mail is somewhat more personal and a newer technology also nets
a bit more
attention from the recipient as well.
Just one century ago, few small businesses realized the impact
telephone. They just couldn't imagine how it could help them achieve
Today, most businesses would be lost in space if they weren't
others by that phone. The same thing is true about computers and
Short-sighted business owners, unable to comprehend how technology
them, adopt a wait-and-see attitude. But while they're waiting,
competitors are seeing the benefits bestowed by their computers
and the growing
enormity of the online marketplace. Those competitors are snapping
and niches, profits and name awareness while the laggards fade
away further and
further in the distance. Guerrillas are using marketing weapons
for only well-heeled companies, and they're romping all over the
now that technology has leveled the surface
But all the advanced technology on the planet can't produce profits
itself. Unless that technology is backed by a solid working knowledge
marketing and what makes it successful, all that technical support
naught. Technology opens the door to a vast array of weaponry,
but unless you
know how to aim and fire those weapons, they could end up backfiring.
The principles of guerrilla marketing
Before delving into the weapons of marketing available to guerrillas,
good idea first to understand the 12 principles that all guerrillas
marketing. If you understand 11 of the principles, you're going
to be up
against the wall if you compete against businesses that understand
their businesses by all 12 of them. The idea is to commit all
12 words to
memory, then to run your business as though these concepts are
part of your
DNA. Here's a memory crutch for you: All 12 words end in the letters
* to practice repetition if you don't commit to your marketing
plan, if you
abandon ship before it has a chance to set sail.
Many brilliant marketing plans have been discarded merely because
generate instant results. But marketing rarely does produce the
want in a short time. People aren't paying that much attention
to marketing so
it takes quite a while for yours to have much of an impact over
realize that Marlboro, one of the best-marketed brands in history,
sales gains the first year after it switched to using cowboys
as their symbol.
But today, Marlboro is the number one seller. The reason: commitment
marketing plan. I do not love telling you this about marketing,
marketing with commitment works a whole lot better than brilliant
without commitment. Don't say you haven't been alerted to this
very real truth.
And don't embark upon a marketing program unless you're prepared
to commit to
* The best investment in America. Putting out money for marketing
expense as much as it is an investment. When you are marketing
these 12 words will tell you how to do it properly, you'll find
that it's the
best investment available in America today. It rewards your investment
richly than a lending institution and carries with it less risk
brokerage house. Once you view any money put into marketing as
you'll be less tempted to walk away from it after a short while.
You'd never buy shares of stock in a company, then dump them if
dropped a few points. But many small business owners invest in
dump their plans because the marketing didn't generate results
Wise investments don't always pay off in a hurry, and marketing,
one of the
wisest you can make, pays off slowly but surely. That happens
only if you stick
with it and think of it as an investment more than an expense
or a way to get a
quick buck. Guerrilla marketing is all about investing in your
future and not
about instant results. It's not a get-rich-quick strategy as much
* times you put out the word, people will be paying attention
only one of those
times. That means establishing yourself in the minds of your prospects
probably take 27 exposures.
If you change your marketing thrust during this time, the people
who are just
getting to know you will not know exactly who you are or what
you stand for.
Restraint will be your best friend. You may be bored with your
always remember that your prospects are just getting to know you.
consistent you are, the more they'll know they can rely upon you.
* Making people confident in you. People patronize businesses
in which they are
confident. Research has proven that price is the fifth most important
choosing a business to patronize. Selection is fourth. Service
Quality, which you might think would rank number one, really ranks
The overwhelming winner in this research was confidence. People
say they tend
to patronize businesses in which they are confident.
Your commitment to your program will make them confident. Your
treating of your
marketing as a long-term investment and not walking away from
will make them confident. Your consistency will make them confident.
they're confident, they'll most likely become customers. Everything
you do with
your marketing should be designed to increase this confidence
they must have in
* The patient guerrilla. The most successful marketing is accomplished
people who are patient. Of all the personality traits present
in people who
direct profitable marketing programs, patience is the most visible.
patient people can practice commitment. Only patient people can
marketing costs as investments. Only patient people can hang in
there and be
consistent enough to win the battle for the customer's mind. Only
people can market to a point that they have earned the confidence
prospects. Once these prospect are confident, they become customers.
If you're not the patient sort, turn your marketing over to someone
is. The marketing battlefields are littered with winning marketing
were left behind by impatient marketing directors. If you have
going right for you, your impatience can undermine your goals.
rarely in hurry.
* A winning assortment. The days of single-weapon marketing may
be behind us.
Many small businesses have learned, to their dismay, that advertising
doesn't work. Direct mail doesn't to the trick either. And neither
relations and telemarketing. Not even marketing on the Internet.
So what does
do the trick? A wide assortment of weapons do it.
When you combine advertising with direct mail, then add public
telemarketing, and also market on the Internet, all the weapons
It's the combination of weapons that works. People see the ad
enterprise, then they get your letter. Shortly after this, they
read a story
about your firm in their newspaper. Next, they receive a phone
heard about you by this time. They're read about you. When they
voice, it is no longer the voice of a complete stranger. If you've
got a Web
site, they can check you out even more -- all of which makes it
much simpler to
eventually buy what you are selling. Did your ad do the job? No
assortment of weapons gets the credit. And you get it, too, because
that the days of single-weapon marketing have passed. A wide assortment
* don't have to be there; your telephone technology can be there
for you. It
means you offer extended hours of business, happily allow business
any day of the week. It means you've got a Web site so people
can really get to
know the details about your business and can ask you questions,
get a rapid response. It means you take all credit cards, offer
a variety of
financing plans, and have abundant free information to send to
You also offer convenience with your fax machine and your e-mail
don't buy into that old lie that time is money. You know it is
important than money and that if you waste anybody's precious
find somebody else who respects it.
* Marketing subsequent to the sale. Guerrillas are well aware
doesn't end with the sale. They know that's really when marketing
truly big profits come to your company subsequent to the sale.
All the hard
work and effort you put into transforming a prospect into a customer
always get paid off with the first sale.
The serious profits come after the sale -- with repeat purchases,
referrals, with loyalty that lasts for decades. It costs six times
more to sell
something to a new prospect than it does to an existing customer.
As a result,
guerrillas mine their customer lists for gold, and they find it
follow-up, never ignoring a customer after a purchase. They know
70% of business lost in America is lost due to apathy after the
sale has been
consummated. Their assiduous follow-up replaces apathy with loyalty.
marketing subsequent to the sale breeds a stable of loyal customers.
guerrillas market like crazy to those good people nestled in their
enthralled at how this increases their profits while decreasing
* The amazement of you. There are many fascinating, even amazing
your business that you may take for granted because you encounter
them on a
day-to-day basis. But if your prospects and customers knew of
they would be impressed. They would be interested not only with
but also with your company and your offerings. That's why guerrillas
seek to add an element of amazement to their marketing.
This element makes their marketing interesting, and guerrillas
know in their
hearts that people don't pay much attention to marketing, but
they pay rapt
attention to things that interest them and even more attention
to things that
You traveled to Europe and Asia to obtain goods for sale? Amazing!
two people whose only job for you is quality control? Amazing!
You spent three
years developing and testing your software? Amazing? More than
1,500 people in
your community have purchased from you during the past three months?
There are many details about your business that are astonishing
Many of them deliver highly-desired benefits to your prospects
Tell the world about the details and the benefits. Amaze the world!
* Treasuring measurement. Pay close attention here because this
is where you
can actually double your profits. This may be the least glamorous
marketing, but it ranks high on the scale of importance. I'm talking
weapons are going to hit the target right in the center of the
for you. Some of them are also going to miss the target completely.
you. But are you going to know which is which? Will you know which
continue firing and which should be relegated to the annals of
will if you do your measuring job. You will if you track the results
You've got to ask people where they heard of you and determine
which of your
marketing vehicles got through to them. Many people will say,
"A friend told me
about you," not mentioning the six ads they've seen, the
two letters you mailed
and your Web site at which they spent two hours the other day.
like admitting that they were affected by marketing and so they'll
credit their purchase to word-of-mouth.
You've got to dig deep and try and pin these people down. If they
buying because of a buddy's recommendation, ask if they've seen
your ads in the
Daily Gazette, in the local magazine, or heard them on radio stations
KMEL. Maybe they found you online. Find out just where they have
you. If you don't, you may end up wasting half your marketing
budget and you
won't know which half.
* The joy of involvement. There's a name for your relationship
customers. It's called involvement. You prove you're involved
with them by
means of your follow-up. They become more involved with you each
time they read
your newsletter, receive a note from you, get a phone call, access
site or hear of you in the media. They actually sense your involvement
them when they speak to you in person, on the phone, at trade
shows, in the
community. You prove that you know about them and care about them.
Customers prove they're involved with you by the way they make
purchases, by the way they readily give you names of people to
names for your mailing list. And let's never forget their delightful
inclination to recommend your business to their friends and associates.
involvement with them makes them even more confident. Their involvement
you makes you even more profitable.
Think of it like this: Not being involved is like hollering across
to somebody. Being involved is like whispering in their ear.
* Seeking to be dependent. Blending with your thoughts of competition
thoughts of cooperation as you develop a radar for businesses
that have two
characteristics: you can help them and they can help you. With
the world becoming more and more connected to each other, and
start-ups blossoming like wildflowers, the key concept to embrace
is to be
Although many one-person and home-based businesses are flourishing,
going it as alone as you may think. Many have linked up with other
to provide more services to their customers. Many more barter
services for mutual benefit. Even more add firepower to each other's
with fusion marketing programs and links on the Internet. Guerrillas
knack for locating and recruiting brother and sister guerrillas
in the quest
for profits, some on the list of new start-ups in the community,
others on the
Don't link with enterprises whose standards of product and service
than yours, with companies which seem too fascinated with the
quick buck, with
firms that aren't as customer- oriented as you are. At first,
provide links to
each other for a short-term experiment, say, two months. See
if they're up to
snuff during this period. If so, link for longer. If not, say
Easier to point and click to than to do
It's pretty easy for you to sit there, clicking your mouse or
keyboard, reading these twelve words on your monitor, or turning
the pages of a
print-out or book, nodding affirmatively to each concept in your
mind. It's not
so simple to live by them.
Commitment is a bear! Imagine sticking with something that doesn't
seem to be
working out all that well. When do you finally throw up your hands?
It's not as
soon as most instant-gratification types would like. Thinking
of your marketing
as an investment isn't a cinch when the returns on itaren't coming
in as soon
as you hoped they would. Being consistent is drag when your friends,
and family, who see your marketing daily, insist that they're
bored and you
should change everything around. You've got to remember that your
barely know you.
Earning enough trust to make people confident in you is, like
a process and not an event. Processes take time. It's not easy
to be patient
for a long time, so if you're not, turn the marketing reins over
to someone who
is. That person should recognize the limitations of marketing
weapons and that
they need each other to achieve their maximum effectiveness. Guerrilla
marketing is about seriously considering all the weapons, testing
many of them,
then ending up with a proven and lethal assortment of them. Not
Perceiving your business through the eyes of a customer determine
convenient it is to do business with you is simple enough, but
wait till you
start introducing new policies and technologies to improve your
You can't do it overnight.
Marketing subsequent to the sale can become systematized to make
it easy, and
it's a fairly easy habit to establish, especially when you see
Spotting the amazement in your business and then communicating
it is also nice
and straightforward. But engaging in measurement that helps you
marketing weapons while doubling up on others requires diligence
of the highest
order. Guerrillas take pleasure when they intensify their involvement
customers. And they are quick to grasp the common sense of being
upon others, seeking and giving help to a network of fellow guerrillas.
The newest force in marketing
It seem very appropriate that right here on the Internet, I add
guerrilla marketing principle, another word that ends in "ent."
and it refers to technology. Armament is defined as the weapons
the force and equipment for war. I don't see marketing as war,
but I do know
that it is an ongoing battle for the mind, attention and disposable
your prospects. And I know that it will be won by the best-prepared
using the most effective armament they can.
When they combine their weapons and supplies with their clear
what it takes to market a small business, they will be formidable
Technology is the newest force in marketing. Armed with it and
of marketing, small businesses can achieve huge victories.
Chapter Four: The Business of Customers
Is running a business like falling in love? It should be if you're
to be a
guerrilla. I'm not talking about romantic love or even platonic
talking customer love. When you fall in love, you treat the one
you love with
eternal kindness, shower that person with love and attention,
you can about the person, and do anything possible to make that
You don't allow policies you've created to get in the way of your
because you want it to be long, cozy and forever. You want it
to be loving. And
you want the object of your attention to feel it.
Guerrillas are wonderful lovers. They allow their sensitivity
and passion to
fuel their relationships with customers. They sincerely care about
people, recognizing that each is special, each is unique, each
is the real
reason that the business exists in the first place. Customers,
like lovers, are
treated with respect, honor, and reverence.
They actually sense your devotion. They know you care. In return,
customers bond to you, make you part of their identity, and speak
of you only
in the most glowing terms. They come back for more of what you
offer. They are
quick to sing your praises to others who might benefit from knowing
One-night stands and lasting relationships
Many small businesses treat sales transactions as one-night-stands--fun
they lasted, but soon forgotten. Guerrillas treat sales transactions
beginnings of beautiful and lasting relationships, nurturing them
In order to do this, you need the insights into customers that
can only come
from information. The more you know about your customers, the
more you are able
to make them happy, to surpass their expectations, to delight
them. As it is
better to know something about your spouse than to know everything
marriage, it is better to know something about your customers
than to know
everything about your business.
Marketing to some people means attracting customers. To guerrillas,
half the job. The other half is retaining those customers. Where
a mere 46% of
U.S. marketing budgets was invested in customer retention back
in l991, today,
that figure is up to 55% and growing.
More and more small businesses are learning, often the hard way--by
customers--that marketing isn't as much about being creative as
it is about
being human, about establishing and maintaining human connections,
treating customers they way they dream of being treated, not merely
expect to be treated.
The key to unforgettable customer service is information. The
more you know
about each customer, the better you will be able to keep that
It's kind of ironic that the secret weapon for warm human relations
technology. But that's the truth. Technology helps you collect
stay in touch with customers, know what they like and don't like,
keep track of
them, communicate with them, and be there for them when they need
What technology is really about
Even though technology seems to be about machines, it's really
Technology allows you to maintain control of your relationships,
save time for
you and your customers and increase your ability to please your
enables you to lower your costs of pleasing customers while increasing
productivity so that they have more to be pleased about.
Because it costs six times more to sell something to a new person
as to sell
the same thing to an existing customer, guerrillas are famed for
service. They know darned well that service is anything that the
it to be--and not just something written in a manual. Keeping
satisfaction at the highest level isn't a sometime event. It's
habit. And it shows to every customer.
Because guerrillas are spectacular listeners, they know what's
customers' minds. They ask a lot of questions, often in the form
of a customer
questionnaire. And they enter the customers answers into their
teems, not only withnames of customers, perhaps a business's most
asset--but also with information about each customer.
What guerrillas know
They know what radio stations their customers listen to, which
favorite TV shows, what newspapers they read and to which magazines
subscribe. Guerrillas know how many kids their customers have,
even the names
of the kids. They know where they went to college, what sports
support, their favorite charities, the kind of cars they drive,
how much money
they earn, and lots of other details that are anything but small
That means they can send Christmas cards that say not only "Merry
but also "Congratulations to your son for making the soccer
team!" They say not
only "Happy New Year!" but also "How about those
Yankees?" They zing with
personal references, making each customer feel singled out, recognized
one-of-a-kind person that all of us really are. How often do you
cards that feel so intensely personal? Not often. Perhaps not
certainly not from a business. That's why, when you send them
out, you'll be
Technology gives you a fierce competitive edge when it comes to
customers. It lets you speak to customers in terms relevant to
meaningfully, thoughtfully, personally. It lets you have a dialogue
It lets you e-mail them when you know they'll be interested in
what you have to
say. It lets you answer all their questions by means of the online
your customer-oriented Web site. It lets you treat their requests
speed they have learned to expect from you. It lets you render
The day my mind was boggled
A few days ago, I stopped in at Borders Books and Music. I wanted
the new Fiona
Apple tape. The person manning the customer service desk checked
and said, "Well, I have 16 CDs of her, but no tapes."
That did not take my
breath away. But then, he pressed one button on his phone, spoke
for about 15
seconds, then said, "I just phoned The Wherehouse down the
street. They've got
the tape you want and they're holding it for you." That did
take my breath
away. Here, they went and directed me to their closest competitor!
I bought the
tape. But you can be sure I'll be buying all my books and tapes
And I'll tell my friends this story just as I'm telling you.
As we come to the close of a century, it is no longer enough to
customer satisfaction. The names of the game are now customer
enchantment, and customer bliss.
Is intimacy too powerful a word? Not by any means. It is a word
lovers. It not only makes the other person feel wonderful; you
too. The business of customers is learning about your customers,
love them and knowing they will love you back, manifesting their
repeat purchases, referral sales, and effusive testimonials. The
behind customer delight is a love of people, not a love of money.
The consummation of the marriage between technology and small
computers to remind you of a customer's anniversary as a customer
of yours and
you to take 20 seconds to sign an anniversary card and write a
handwritten note. Your customer feels singled out.
The consultant who charges no money
There's a first-rate consultant on customer bliss living in your
you. You've been a customer for a long time, purchasing a broad
products and services. You've been satisfied, dissatisfied, ripped
well, ignored, catered to, fawned over and high-pressured. How
many times have
you been delighted? What did the business do to delight you? If
you made a
list, it would be a very short one-- because most businesses haven't
a clue or
an inclination of what it takes to surpass mere satisfaction.
It takes time. It takes energy. It takes attention. It takes data.
It takes a
deep down caring attitude. It takes keeping track. It takes a
dedicating yourself to surpassing satisfaction. If you'd like
competitive advantage, try surpassing customer satisfaction on
The hallmark of the 21st century
Developing relationships is all the rage in the enlightened nineties.
Intensifying relationships will be the hallmark of the 21st century.
closer to customers by means of contact will motivate them to
grow closer to
you. The connection strengthens with regular newsletters, letters,
phone calls, e-mails, faxes. You build on the rapport you established
very start. And always, you know the difference between doing
it and overdoing
Guerrillas know well that their customers are their best sales
force. And they
know that extraordinary customer service is as rare as Hope Diamonds.
this as a remarkable opportunity for them for them to shine. They
obsessed with wondering what they might do for their customers
that they would
What service-minded guerrillas do, give and offer
Some of the things that they do for their customers include having
hotline, a newsletter, a Web site, an after-hours telephone answering
capability, an e-mail address, and a fax number. Some of the things
give to their customers include free tip sheets, free items with
orders to say
thank you, free shipping as a surprise extra, discount coupons
for new ideas,
free access to their business library, tours of their business,
consultations, free delivery, free installation, free repairs,
free snacks or
coffee while they're visiting. Some of the things they offer in
the name of
superb service include extended hours of business, a guarantee
they sell, referrals to the customer's business, and free consultations.
of all, they listen to customers then act upon what they've heard.
fail to keep their promises.
If you're to be a guerrilla, you're going to invest time, energy,
and money in attracting customers. Actually, you'll be attracting
then, if you're good at what you do, you'll convert them into
happy day, right? Not right--if you don't also invest time, energy,
and money in retaining those customers. If you don't, all your
attracting and converting them will be down the tube.
Statistics to make you frown
If you think that's bad news, it's almost good new news compared
statistics, supplied by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs:
* 96 percent of unhappy customers will never complain about
from you, but you won't see 90 percent of them again.
* Each of your unhappy customers will tell their sad tale to
at least nine
other people, and 18 percent of those will say bad things
behind your back
to 22 people.
Outstanding customer service just has to start at the very beginning,
very first customer, and to do this, it must be very clear in
your mind and
your mission. You've got to hire or connect with people who have
attitude of caring and wanting to render service. If you hire
meanies and train
them, you'll have a bunch of trained meanies on your hands.
The big deterrent
Not surprisingly, one of the biggest deterrents to spectacular
is spectacular growth. Businesses add so many new customers that
addicted to growth. Like shooting heroin, they get a short-term
kick but are in
for long-term misery. Their success causes them to focus on adding
customers rather than taking exceptional care of the ones they
have. One by
one, those customers desert them for the competition. Many companies
plan in case of failure. But very few have a plan in case of success.
Guerrillas know just how to succeed and they know it means treating
customers with care and attention. They know customers leave not
of poor or rude service, but mainly because they are just plain
Does this mean all customers should be treated exactly the same?
It does not.
It means that all customers should be revered, but some should
be treated with
more reverence than others.
A lists and B lists
Guerrilla businesses divide their customers into at least two
A list, comprised of customers who buy the most, spend the most,
nicest, and refer the most--and their B list, comprised of all
Those on the B list are showered with attention, contact and special
Those on the A list are showered with even more attention, contact
favors. Guerrillas are very quick to play favorites. They know
that 80 percent
of their business comes from 20 percent of their customers and
that they should
devote 80 percent of their service energy towards those 20 percent.
These guerrillas are also acutely aware that technology allows
communicate one-on-one with their customers, allowing high-tech
to result in
high-touch. One-on- one is the very essence of interactive marketing.
very opposite of mass marketing. And it's a boon to small business.
to in-person meetings, telephone contact, personal (not merely
letters, and personal (never mass) e-mail. It refers to maintaining
that is updated regularly because customers change regularly.
Keeping customers by keeping track
Technology allows guerrillas to keep track of all their contacts
so that they don't have to rely solely upon their memories. It
concentrate on crucial, but superpowered details such as their
birthdays, anniversaries, promotions at work, interests, past
especially their priorities. That gives small business owners
to tailor their service to the needs of their customers -- giving
competitive edge that sets them apart not only from the competition
all other businesses. It gives them the share of mind that is
so necessary if
they're to obtain the share of market they want.
Perhaps the most winning of the benefits of technology is that
it opens the
door to two-way communications with customers. It speeds up almost
about doing business with them in an age when time is cherished
more than ever.
It allows you to stay in touch with important customers even if
around the world.
Although technology as a customer service tool is relatively new,
it has won
the hearts of small business owners across America. A full 82
percent of them
say that they have confidence in the payoff of new technologies.
computers, fax/modems, the Internet, CD-ROMs, multimedia, laptops
The majority, 66 percent, of these business owners feel that the
will be in the area of customer service, while 64 percent figure
it will be in
Two things to learn
You've got to learn two things if you're to become a customer
* Which of the new technologies do your customers use?
* Which of the new technologies do your competitors use?
Then, because you're a guerrilla, you act upon what you learn.
You employ the
technologies used by your customers. If they aren't online yet,
capability will have to wait till they are, and you must focus
upon your other
technology. If your competitors offer data by fax and you don't,
operating from out of a hole. The idea is to meet your customer's
standards and surpass those of your competitors.
Be prepared to open your mind to a host of technologies that I
delved into here: teleconferencing, video conferencing, satellite
online coupons, interactive kiosks, multimedia presentations,
computer disks, CD-ROMs, networks, and customer hotlines. The
list goes on and
on and all you've got to do is read the daily newspaper to see
technologies unveiled that can make the difference between red
and black on
your bottom line.
If you've got a Web site that is self-contained and offers few
links to others,
you're robbing yourself of the co-marketing opportunities now
available on the
Internet as well as robbing your customers of information that
would help them.
Freely giving information of value to your customers is part of
service. Don't shortchange these important people in this area.
The changing customer
There are a myriad of new technologies to empower your customer
service. But it
will be empowered the most when you recognize the change in customers.
recognize the difference between satisfactory and exceptional
understand that technology can help you help them. They are more
less easily satisfied, increasingly sophisticated, and able to
allegiances in a flash.
This insight puts a smile on the face of a guerrilla because he
or she knows
very well that these new truths represent a glorious opportunity
to stand out
in the customer service arena.
You must know the difference between doing things right the first
doing things over. And you must never forget that at all times,
you're in three
different businesses: your business, the marketing business, and
business. Unless you excel at all three, you run the risk of going
Chapter Five: Zero to Sixty in Thirty Days
When I write a book, I always figure that it's a two-part process:
book, which takes only one page, and finishing the book, which
240 or so pages. Getting started seems to be half the job because
it means that
I know what I'll be doing and I'm ready to forge ahead.
To my way of thinking, the same is true of using technology
in your business.
Getting started is half the battle. In order to start, you must
feel informed and feel in complete control. To feel this way,
you've first got
to realize the benefits that technology can bestow upon your
increased productivity, inventory control, better customer service,
opportunities, a more professional identity, and greater speed.
It also opens
the gates to using new marketing materials that you can prepare
newsletters, fliers, brochures and lots more.
The wrong reason to use technology
It's not a good idea to use technology just because you think
that's what you
should be using. Instead, use it to accomplish specific goals.
For instance, I
used to write direct mail letters for a bank. I'd use my typewriter.
letters would be sent to ten different groups for testing. Each
letter would be
the same except for one paragraph. It was a major pain for me
to draft each
letter, so I considered buying a word processor because I know
that I could
write one letter, then easily change the paragraphs without
the need to start
from scratch. In addition, I am a very fast typist and I resented
the need to
keep hitting the carriage return on my typewriter, something I
wouldn't have to
do with a word processor. Those two factors got me started
Soon afterwards, I realized that I could save trips to and from
office if I purchased a fax machine, which I did. And later,
when I teamed up
with an author on the East coast to write a book, I quickly learned
and benefits of e-mail and being online. My journey into technology
with those needs to save time - and once I embraced the technology,
no looking backwards. To this day, I consider my typewriter
to be a relic of
the Dark Ages, and even when I lick a stamp to mail a letter,
I feel as though
I'm reaching back into pre-history by using snail
Even after only a week, I wondered why I had waited so long.
everyone else who begins to make technology an ally, I knew
that if I could
begin my writing career from the start, I would have purchased
a word processor
A good idea is not enough
The revenue per employee at some of the fastest-growing small
businesses in the
United States is two and a half times higher when the business
computer use than when it is relatively low tech. In the past,
a small business
could succeed strictly on the basis of a good idea. But today,
you need a good
idea and whatever you do you must do better than anyone else.
enable you to achieve that goal. When you read about a small
revolution, you're seeing the affects of technology which now
makes running a
small business easier than at any other time in history.
High tech and high anxiety
I know that high tech means high anxiety to many people, but
I also know that
their anxiety is based upon complicated older technology and
not upon the
simple technology of today. When my 12-year old granddaughter
comes into my
office and shows me shortcuts I can use with my computer, and
then my 7-year
old grandson points out a few features I haven't yet discovered,
I realize that
computers are even simpler than I think they are.
The other day, my daughter pointed out that I'm writing a book
online, that I'm
hosting regular online marketing conferences, that I have my
marketing Web site, and that I've co-authored several books
using e-mail. She
asked me if I ever thought I'd be so wrapped up in technology.
It's funny, but
although she's right, I no longer even consider my daily activities
technologically-related.My computer seems to be part of my mind
and my mouse
part of my body.
Now I know that I don't have to preach to the converted. After
all, there you
are, reading this book online, so you've not only got a computer,
but you also
know how to access the web and how to get where you want on
it. Still, if
you're planning to use technology to send your profits soaring,
ten-step plan to follow and I know that if you do, you, too,
will wonder why
Before you even begin to institute this plan, recognize that
you will succeed
with technology, as with marketing, if you decide out front
that you're going
to commit to it, stick with it and make it work for you no matter
it's time to activate the plan.
A ten-step plan
Step 1: Engage in research. That means find out what others
in your industry
are using, what's available, what you can afford and what's coming
up next. The
idea is to begin operating from a standpoint of knowledge instead
Keep your radar attuned to which technology will improve your
your efficiency, which can save your time and money, and which
can add luster
to your customer service. You might even employ the services of
a consultant to
help you in this area because you don't want to be rubbing sticks
start a fire when all you really have to do is flick a lighter.
You'll find a
lot of online consultants at http://yahoo.com.
If have an online account, ask your ISP for help with your site's
design or ask
for references to other designers. Some of the largest Internet
providers have whole sets of design tools you can use to build
a site yourself.
For example, AOL's PrimeHost web hosting service has user-friendly
and a shopping cart system you can use.
A survey of small business owners recently revealed that nearly
20 percent of
them feel that lack of knowledge kept them from buying more technology,
percent said that technology is critical to their business
Step 2: Check out your competitors. The last thing you want
is for them to
offer more convenience and better service than you, so see what
they're up to.
Learn how technology is helping them and how they're using it.
The idea isn't
to catch up to them but to surpass them.
What technologies do your customers use?
Step 3: Check your own customers. If they're still using fax
aren't yet online, perhaps you don't have to be online either.
But if they're
using the web and know where to look there, you'd better get
yourself a Web
site pronto. Again, your job is not just to keep up with your
customers, but to
stay ahead of them, offering the ultimate in convenience to both
Step 4: Ascertain your technology needs. Once you're determined
you'll know which technology to purchase and which you can do
without for the
time being. There's no need for you to arm yourself to fight
a tiger when all
you'll be facing is a pussycat. On the other hand, you don't
want to be
prepared only for pussycats when you're being charged by tigers.
The key is to
fortify yourself with the appropriate technology to serve
your own needs.
Again, a consultant might be just the ticket to help you in
Step 5: Examine your alternatives. Here I am praising computers
to the skies, when I well know that computers aren't the solution
problem and that advanced voice mail systems can lose customers
for you as
easily as they can gain them. Picasso once said that the problem
is that all they can do is come up with the right answers, but
not the right
questions. It's up to you to ask those right questions. How
can you improve
your customer service with technology? How can you add more
your marketing with technology? How can you streamline your
way of doing
business with technology? If you ask those kind of questions
then you'll be
able to use technology to provide the answers. Where computers
used to be a
luxury to small business, each day they're becoming more mandatory.
business without them today is like operating a business 50 years
ago without a
Don't keep it a secret
Step 6: Talk to your staff. Your task is to get them to want
the technology as
much as you do, to embrace it with the same enthusiasm as you.
whizzes of these days were scared to death to touch a keyboard
or click a mouse
just a few years ago. So take the time to get feedback from
your people, to
enlist their aid, to make them feel part of the technology rather
brushed aside by it. Their comfort level with technology is
every bit as
important as yours. The last thing you want is the right technology
ignored by a staff that's terrified of it. If they've involved
they'll stay involved.
Step 7: Train your staff. Bring in a trainer or a tutor who
can show them the
ropes and the simplicity of your technology. You want your
people to look
forward to using it, to use it with aplomb and never to resent
it. If they feel
that they are in control of the technology instead of the reverse,
to a splendid start.
Put it in writing
Step 8: Develop a plan. Just as guerrillas have a written marketing
also have a written technology plan which lays out which technologies
need and when they'll need them. You probably won't want to
purchase all your
equipment at the same time, but which will you need first? Second?
those priorities straight, then live up to your plan. You'll find
that the plan
simplifies both the purchasing and the mastery of your
Step 9: Purchase equipment you can grow into, not out of. The
first thing you
want is a computer with enough power to run all the software
you'll be using.
The last thing you want is to need even more power later because
so successful. Don't sacrifice quality in this area. Be willing
to fork out
enough to a top quality vendor for top quality technology.
Maybe it's more
power and more technology than you need right now, but you'll
be much happier
growing into it than realizing you'll soon outgrow it. Whatever
will be improved and the price will drop within a few months.
That's the nature
of the technology beast. But never forget that you can upgrade
if you have to.
Software keeps getting better and easier to use, and it's very
simple to merely
upgrade your software without having to purchase a new or
computer. A small business is like a new family. It doesn't
make sense to
purchase a one-bedroom house with a baby on the way and a few
more planned for
later. Instead, a three-bedroom house may be a bit too large
at first, but you
can grow into it and don't have to start looking for a house when
you should be
settling into one.
Step 10: Evaluate your progress. At the end of each month,
see if you're
following your plan, if your technology is serving all your
needs, if your
staff is comfortable with the technology, if your customers
are happy. Settle
for nothing less than complete satisfaction. Is it doing exactly
wanted it to do? If not, make changes so that it does.
By getting started this way, you'll find that you can be up
benefiting from the immense power of technology in a month or
less. All the
steps I've outlined above can be accomplished within a period
of 30 days or
less except for the evaluation part, which should be a continuing
More than you bargained for
As I mentioned, I invested in my computer strictly for word
yesterday, I used it for e-mail, chatting with a friend in London,
sports scores, playing a spelling error trivia game, downloading
information from the Net, and listening to my newest CD. Not
one bit of word
processing. You'll also discover that technology can do a whole
lot more for
you than you could ever comprehend until you've started putting
it to use for
It's very important that you become involved not with the technology
which can be ultra-fascinating, but with what the technology
can do for you.
All the bells and whistles in the world can't increase your
you can't delight your customers and satisfy their specific needs.
that they should be the benefactors of your leap in the techno-world
advanced technology is all about them and not about you. If
you always keep
that fact at the forefront of your mind, you'll stay on the
When purchasing software, it's always a good idea to test it
yourself. You can
begin at the software company's Web site and check their demonstration
to be sure you're compatible the ones you want.
The human factor
Never forget that technology is merely a tool and that you are
the person who
will be using it. That means making certain that you'll
comfortable when using it. Take heed of the light in your office,
of your chair. Make sure your monitor is a eye level and that
you use a
keyboard that is ergonomically correct. The more natural your
you're working, the better. Technology may seem to be all about
it's very much about people, too. Regardless of how much technology
maintain your humanity, intensify your relationships with people.
touch with your high tech. To get up to speed fast on how and
how not to market
your products or services on the Web go to net.acceptable
Then check a site from CommuniCreations at
http://www.comstation.com/ccreate/weblist.html. This page is
called "Guide to
Launching a Web Site" which has a handy checklist to help
identify the business
or marketing objectives you want your Web site to accomplish,
what info you
want from and about visitors to your page, and questions to ask
in selecting a
Web design firm.
The cost of technology
When you purchase a car or a new piece of furniture, it's an
expense and it's
probably going to be worth your money. When you purchase technology
business, it is also an expense to be sure, but it's more of
because it will be worth what you pay and it will be able
mightily to your profitability. Unlike Wall Street investments,
there is little
risk with your technology investment if you operate according
to the ten-step
plan I've just outlined. You're in control of this investment.
You have the
opportunity to maximize the returns it can deliver by your
wise use of its
By availing yourself of the extraordinary new phenomenon of
the Internet, you
can establish strategic alliances and engage in global commerce
inexpensively and powerfully, not to mention interactively.
concept of being able to do that is now matched by the simplicity
today's technology. It unleashes creative forces within you that
may never have
been tapped before.
Once you've decided to align yourself with the secret weapon
technology, keep abreast of further advancements. Be ready to
upgrade your own
technology when it is necessary and never fail to know the difference
change and an improvement. There's a big difference.
When to begin
There are wrong times and right times to begin to enlist the
aid of technology
in your business. The wrong times are after you've waited for
prices to drop,
after you've waited for computer power to increase, and after
have already wooed away your customers. The right times are
ten years ago and
immediately. These days, if you're not staying ahead of the
probably losing it.
Chapter 6: Saving Money by Saving Time
I've never written a chapter of a book that started out with a
lie. But I'm
going to do it now. Not only will I tell you a lie, but I'll tell
you a dirty
lie, one that is hurtful to your business and your associates,
to your family
and yourself. Worst of all, it's a lie that you've probably been
most of your life.
Here it is, though you didn't need me to tell it to you because
hearing it from others for a long time now: Time is money.
Don't believe it.
Don't believe that for one instant. Time is far more valuable
than money. Run
out of money and you'll probably find ways to scrounge up some
more. Run out of
time and that's the end of the ride. No way to get any more. Time,
being money, is life itself.
You can use that time to earn more money, to be sure. You can
use it to polish
your business, grow your business, maximize your business and
profits. You can also use it to add balance to your life by pursuing
activities, being with your friends and family, or just chilling
out. The key
idea isn't necessarily what you do with your time. It's that now
you can get
more of it than ever before with the proper mindset and by availing
the plethora of new technologies that are designed with the underlying
benefit of saving enormous chunks of time for you. That's really
are all about: speed and saving time.
Guerrillas and time
Guerrillas cherish their time, use it wisely, and like most Americans,
consider time to be their most precious asset. They know that
time isn't money,
that it's considerably more valuable than money, and that technology
more of it to them now than at any time in history.
Guerrillas also follow a five-step timesaving plan created solely
to free up
more time for them. It's a plan that can do the same for you.
plan will generate growth for you. Your marketing plan will generate
for you. Your timesaving plan will generate extra time for you.
A five-step time-saving plan
As you don't have to learn the names of your digestive enzymes
to enjoy a
hearty meal, you won't have to learn the jargon of technology
to enjoy the
timesaving benefits it bestows. All you've really got to learn
is how you spend
your time now, how you should be spending your time, where you
can save time,
how you will save time, and whether the technologies you're embracing
saving your time. When you know those things, you'll be well on
your way to
having time to devote to any pursuits you desire.
Before you even start developing your plan, you've got to begin
with a powerful
commitment to save time. As the trick to successful marketing
is commitment to
a plan with the goal of earning profits, the starting point to
timesaving is a commitment to a plan with the goal of saving time.
commitment, it's not gonna happen. With your commitment, you just
That commitment will embrace both the right ways to think about
time and the
right ways to use and save time. Yes, it will also save you money.
Yes, it will
fuel your profits. But remember that its prime purpose is to save
Once you have that time, it's yours to use anyway you'd like.
Step one: How you spend your time now
Take a full two weeks to keep a daily log of your activities at
down what you are doing and how much time it is taking you to
do it. Write down
each task that you perform, regardless of how insignificant it
may seem at the
time. Your employees and associates should be encouraged to do
the same because
you want an overview of how all time is spent by your company.
By reviewing the
log at the end of the two weeks, you'll have a pretty good fix
on how you're
spending your time at work. My guess is that you're going to be
you see how much time you're devoting to your tasks. And you won't
need me to
point out which of those tasks should be completed by someone
other than you.
But be careful not to assumejust because someone else is doing
the task that
it's being done efficiently. If you are spending hour filling
orders by hand, it doesn't really save your company time or money
someone else do the exact task. So determine which tasks can best
be handled by
the technology of today and which tasks are taking up more time
that you ought
to be devoting to them.
Step two: How you should spend your time
This time, don't spend two weeks, but only one hour or less making
a list of
the things that you should be doing to make your company flourish
That includes a whole lot more than putting out fires to maintain
quo. It also means doing what must be done to service existing
attract new customers, streamline your procedures and improve
If you spend your time the way you think you should be spending
it, you'll be
operating in a growth mode rather than merely treading water.
This is the step
when you will determine the difference between efficiency, which
things right - and effectiveness, which is doing the right things.
never make a choice between the two, but embrace both. They want
to spend their
time doing the right things the right way. And they want to do
them right the
first time. Accomplishing a task rapidly but having to do it again
inefficient and ineffective.
Step three: Where you can save time
Examine every single aspect of the way you are doing business
and put into
writing those activities where you can save time by doing them
Perhaps you'll save a lot of time by delegating since guerrillas
rarely do what
they can delegate, saving themselves for the more important tasks
aggressively and servicing assiduously. Possibly you will see
areas in which
technology can come to your aid in the quest for more time. If
your radar is
attuned to spotting timesaving opportunities, you'll be better
implement them. The saving of time always begins with an awareness
of time and
how it can be saved. It continues with an awareness of yourself
you're a morning person or one who thrives when burning the midnight
you know your own prime time, you'll be able to schedule your
match your energy level.
Step four: How you will save time
Here's where you make concrete decisions as to what you'll do
now to save time.
This is the step where you decide to put up your own Web site
to market your
offerings 24-hours a day, seven days a week. This is where you
hardware and software to serve your specific needs. You can't
someone to recommend a specific computer to you because that's
like asking him
or her to recommend a religion. But experts can recommend software
to speed you
on the path to your goals. You know your needs and your job now
is to fill them
with whatever it takes. I guarantee that the technology is out
there to help
you. All you've got to do is match it with your needs. If your
marketing can be
given a boost with a newsletter, this is the time to get what
it takes to
publish your own. If your presentations can be standardized so
each one isn't a
major time-consuming project, here's where you invest in the equipment
that task. Will a voice-mail system save time for you? Fax on
on telephone hold? Reminders for customer follow-up? Printing
of letters and
postcards to accomplish that follow-up? A database that organizes
inventory and a network system that allows others to have access
information? A contact management package that organizes your
vendors, and your day? This is the step where you put your money
commitment is - in the technology that will save time for you.
Step five: Keeping track of your time-saving
This final step means that you once again should keep a log for
two weeks of
how you're spending your time now that your technology is up and
you've gone about things in the right way, you're getting more
done and you're
spending less time doing it. You're doing a better job of staying
in touch with
your current customers and you're putting out the word all over
the place to
obtain new ones. Your Web site is humming and pre-selling your
possibly even consummating many sales. Your fliers and newsletters,
mailings and proposals have twice the sparkle while taking less
than half the
time to prepare that they used to. Technology is helping you work
more accomplished, establish closer relationships, and save more
capitalize on opportunities you might have missed because of lack
of time. Even
after the two weeks have passed, you should constantly be keeping
you'll always find areas in which to improve, ways to save time,
growing your business.
More time than you think
Even if you conscientiously follow this five-step timesaving plan,
discover that technology can save you time in even more areas
than you may have
imagined. I bought my first computer exclusively for word-processing,
that purpose alone would save me loads of writing time, typing
time and editing
time. Little did I realize that it would save me even more time
by granting me
access to the Internet. Writing books for me used to mean frequent
trips to the
library. Now, it means clicking my mouse and visiting the information
superlibrary. The information is better and the time taken to
collect it is a
fraction of what it used to be.
Unexpected time-saving bonuses
I never dreamt with my first computer that I'd save so much time
information. I never imagined that e-mail would prove to be so
timesaving for communications. I didn't have an inkling of the
time I'd save
publishing marketing materials on my own. How long do you think
it took for me
to mail 3000 brief letters compared to the time it takes now that
I can just do
it with the clicking of a mouse? It's rare when I crunch numbers,
but when I
do, my computer does for me in one minute what used to take five
records was always something I was pretty good at, but I was operating
dark ages before I got my computer. It's easier, faster and more
fun now than
it ever was before and I didn't even realize I was operating in
until I got the perspective I have now. At first, I laughed at
how mired I used
to be, and then I winced when I thought of the missed opportunities.
I figured my computer would save time for me. I had no idea it
would enable me
to accomplish twice as much work, earn twice as much money and
put in half the
time that I used to. As its primary gift to me, technology gave
me time. As its
secondary gift, it gave me even more time. I use it to write two
books a year,
not just one - because I can collaborate with co-authors from
yesterday, I entered into an arrangement with a man from Japan
to co-author a
magazine article. We'll do it all by e-mail and we probably won't
meet till it
has been published, if we do meet at all. The networking opportunities
are gems of time-savers.
Although technology can save you the most time, followed closely
delegation, you can also save time and money simply by being organized.
countless ways of helping you get organized, here are ten from
the top to set
you on your way:
Ten tips for organizing your business to save time
* Make sure everything in your office is business-related. Those
aren't helping you stay in business might gang up to put you
business. They are time bandits and rob you of precious time.
If your home
phone rings in your office, your work time is being stolen
* Take control of your time by means of a daily calendar containing
do" list. You can do it on paper or electronically just
as long as you do
it. And once you've made that "to do" list, assign
a priority to each task
so that you complete the important ones first.
* Set up your office so that you can reach anything you need
in just seconds.
Keep your phone, fax, computer, printer and other equipment
on a table of
their own, within arm's reach, so that your desk is free for
* Use a phone log or contact management program to enter phone
messages. That way, you'll know just where to look when you
have to get in
touch with somebody. You'd be floored if you knew how much
time it takes to
find phone numbers jotted down on scraps of paper. Even if
it takes only
one minute, when you multiply those minutes by the times you
for each number, they add up to hours.
* Store all your paperwork vertically instead of horizontally.
This will save
time for you in addition to saving space. Stacks of paper
are a sure sign
of disorganization. Efficiency experts tell us that the typical
executive wastes an average of three hours a week searching
for lost or
misplaced documents. That's nearly a full week out of every
* When paperwork comes to you, handle it and move it forward.
toss it. Maybe you'll add it to your to-do list. Possibly
you'll forward it
on to someone else. The important thing is to handle it one
* Keep your files skinny. Most of the papers in your files will
take up space
and waste your time as you look for others. It's healthy to
be slim whether
you're a person or a file.
* Put everything in its own place. Haphazard stashing is the
bane of many
small businesses. Guerrillas may have many business-related
items in their
office, but they know where to find them in an instant. The
business executive has 36 hours of work on his or her desk
at any given
time - far more than he or she can ever hope to accomplish
on a workday.
Having these documents in full view reminds the executive
of what he can't
accomplish, creating undue pressure and prompting him to tackle
randomly rather than by priorities.
* At the end of each day, plan the next day. This will let you
start the day
running by providing you with pre-existing momentum. Streamlined
owners enter their office in the morning to find a clean desktop
prioritized "to do" list. They don't waste valuable
time figuring what to
do next. They already know.
* Place a high value on yourself. If you value yourself, you'll
time. You know when you're working at your peak and sculpt
your time to fit
into that period. At the same time, place a high value on
and learn to maximize their effectiveness. Most small business
getting a mere fraction of the value their technology offers.
your word processor, spreadsheet, database and information
systems. And it also includes your familiarity with the Internet.
Once you're on the road to saving time, keep in mind that the
time you save
should not be used in drudgery but in productivity. The question
guerrillas ask is "What is the best use of my time right
now?" Their answers
are never the usual "I don't know," but instead, are
very obvious to them.
Being aware of time bandits
Even if you're committed to saving time, you'll find that the
world is teeming
with bandits who rob you of your time. Your job is to avoid them
and the only
way you can do that is to know who they are. It doesn't matter
if you're got
the latest and greatest in technology because these bandits can
the best-laid timesaving plans. Who are these bandits? You won't
find them in
jail. You'll find them in offices throughout the world. So that
you can know
thine enemy, I'll list them here:
* People in love with the sound of their own voices
* People who love technology for the sake of technology
* Long-winded writers who find it hard to get to the point
* People who are impressed with their own authority
* People who are in over their heads
* People who aren't busy and don't have enough to do
* People without goals
* Decision evaders
* People who put on you on phone hold for longer than 30 seconds
* People who call you then put you on hold
* Compulsive changers
* Cars that spend a lot of time being repaired
* Technology that you don't understand
* Anyone in the world who does not cherish the value of time
Every single one of these time bandits steals one of the most
in your life - one that can never be returned. The way to deal
bandits is to be aware of them and how they erode your time. If
identify them, you can eliminate them or at least your contact
with them. Along
with these bandits are the ones you may be guilty of yourself
in the form of
misguided efforts. Guerrillas are innocent of these charges.
Misguided efforts that waste time
* Reading unnecessary material
* Doing instead of delegating
* Rewarding themselves before they deserve the reward
* Being overly social at work
* Getting too involved in details that can handle themselves
* Skipping out or taking overly long lunches and breaks
* Being a slave to the telephone
* Being unable to say "no" to time bandits
* Not being focused on the task at hand
* Thinking that all time is created equal
* Not realizing that they're wasting time
In his wonderful book "What Color Is Your Parachute?",
Richard Nelson Bolles
says, "I think almost everybody today has some problem with
time. They are
never, ever going to get done all that they want to do and therefore
to establish priorities. They have to get a vision in their head
of what is the
most important to address." To do this, simply decide which
most merits your
time right now and then do those things. If you will do this,
you'll save time,
save money and eliminate stress, which author Bolles refers to
as "the pain of
Tips for time-saving with technology
Technology itself just won't do the trick of saving time for you.
that technology properly will do it. Ten tricks of the timesaving
allow technology to work its magic:
* Rearrange your computer files to conform to the system you've
* Keep copies of everything on clearly labeled backup disks
and don't feel
that you have to print and store everything. You don't.
* Open your mind to investing in a personal information manager
There are many from which you may select and all of them can
save loads of
time for you. Consider networking hardware that enables you
to share not
only peripherals but also information and resources. It can
save you both
time and money while increasing your productivity.
* Invest in a high-speed modem, an ISDN phone line or a satellite
you do lots of downloading online. And be certain to set up
to capitalize upon that increased speed.
* Update your contact manager and keep it current. Keep a printout
phone so that you can change the information by hand when
* Keep things you use frequently within arm's reach. If you
use your fax only
three times a week, move it further away from you. If you
have to invest in
shelving, it's a wise investment in saving time.
* Set up your customized software so that you can perform frequent
at just the touch of a button.
* Function not only by your mouse but also by key commands.
It may be
tempting to use the mouse, but resist that temptation to save
more time for
* Set up style sheets if you use similar styles in your newsletter,
brochures, fliers or letters. You don't want to be reformatting
you create something new. You can do it once and be done with
* If you can't invoice your customers with software, invest
in a program that
will do it for you. Many allow you to invoice, adjust inventory,
customer history and keep track of total sales to date.
Tips for time-saving without technology
Powerful and fast computers along with new simple-to-use software
can free up
scads of time for you, but so can common sense. You don't have
to be a rocket
scientist or a computer maven to practice these tips:
* If you're right-handed, place your phone on your left side
and a pad and
pen on your right side.
* Use a hands-free telephone headset so you can accomplish things
you're on the phone or waiting on hold.
* Set phone appointments with callers. This will help you win
the game of
phone tag. When leaving messages, make them complete and self-contained
that a return call is not necessary. Ask your callers to do
Interactivity is not a must on the telephone.
* Realize that the downside of the Information Age is too much
so use a data filter or have someone highlight the information
have, sparing you the time of finding it for yourself.
* Make your phone calls before lunch and before quitting time
so that people
are already inclined to keep the conversation short. Many
making many of your calls during the last working hour on
* Group your phone calls, making a flurry of them, then blocking
uninterrupted time for work.
* Respond to business letters promptly and briefly. Encourage
* Create customizable form letters so that you can respond to
solicitations and thank-yous quickly and personally. Do the
same for the
thank-you notes that you send as well as for those all-important
* Hire a part-time assistant, scouring your local college campus
center to find candidates. More and more small businesses
- and college
students - are discovering the joys of internships. It's one
of the best of
all win-win situations.
* Divide your clients into A Lists - those who spend the most
and refer the
most, and B Lists - those who spend and refer the least. Pay
to those on your A List. You might even have to abandon unprofitable
customers. If the cost in time makes the business relationship
for you, be prepared to say bye-bye to the customer.
* Ask for the first appointment of the day because it's the
one least likely
to start out late and toss your entire day into disarray.
* Group your appointments so that you can handle all of them
in one day or
one afternoon. Travel time is often wasted time. If you must
arrange to meet in other peoples' offices because it's a whole
to excuse yourself than to kick somebody out of your office.
* Carry paperwork with you, or better yet, carry a laptop computer.
you can turn waiting time into productivity time. When in
your car, use
your car phone, listen to instructional tapes and dictate
memos, but please
- keep your eyes on the road and your mind on driving safely.
rate is four times higher for car phone users.
* Capitalize on the freedom granted you by self-employment and
shopping and banking during off-peak hours. Guerrillas are
not affected by
the lunch-hour crush because they lunch before or after normal
Do guerrillas watch the clock?
Guerrillas are never compulsive clock-watchers because those kinds
consider time to be an enemy. Instead, time well managed can be
your ally. So
can people who are as aware of time as you are. Those are the
people with whom
guerrillas connect, hire and train. If you're an expert on saving
your time and
people who are oblivious to it surround you, you'll be in for
a lot of
frustration. If you don't control your own time, you're probably
working on the
priority of others.
The people who seem to make the worst use of their time are the
complain that there's never enough time. The truth is that there
is enough time
if you know what to do with it. Benjamin Franklin must have agreed
said, "If we take care of the minutes, the years will take
care of themselves."
Time is not money. But the way you use it and spend it can mean
famed business consultant Peter Drucker, "Time is the scarcest
unless it is managed nothing else can be managed."
Chapter Seven: The Benefits Of Collaboration
The name of the game these days is collaboration more than independence,
cooperation more than competition. Instead of thinking of yourself
isolated business in an isolated office, think of yourself as
part of a team.
Instead of scanning the business horizon to spot whom you might
be able to
obliterate, tune your radar instead to businesses with which you
might be able
to cooperate. Instead of keeping all your assets to yourself,
them with others. This includes your information, your databases,
your computer programs, your Internet access, your equipment,
and your ideas.
Share information and resources with your employees as well, with
suppliers, and with your customers. It used to be that information
something that was carefully guarded and never shared. But those
changed. The more you share information, the more valuable it
Light everybody's candle
Picture yourself with a lit candle in a dark room with 20 other
people, each of
whom is holding an unlit candle. If you use your candle to help
20 other candles, the room will no longer be dark and yet the
your own candle will not be diminished. It's the same way with
Keep it to yourself and it may help you a little. But if you share
information can help you a lot more while brightening the world
Guerrillas realize that they're living in a wired world and that
they're connected, the more effectively they can run their businesses.
up a communications infrastructure that enables them to communicate
grow. That means they wire their offices for high speed ISDN (Integrated
Services Digital Network) lines, for e-mail and for networking
with anyone who
can benefit from it. They know in their hearts that if they don't
technology, they're operating with a competitive disadvantage.
Networking is sharing
Networking to them means a lot more than ABC, CBS or NBC. It represents
opportunity to share - and by doing so, to cut costs, increase
improve customer service, reduce paperwork, save time, be more
eliminate many meetings and gain crucial flexibility.
Guerrillas set up networks that enable them to communicate better.
networks may start out small at first, with only a few computers
them, but they're expandable so they can grow as the business
grows. No one
realizes more than a guerrilla that an investment in technology
investment that can pay rich dividends over time, and not a very
It doesn't take long for them to discover the ease and low cost
and that it's like being in the same office with people who may
be a few miles
or a few thousand miles away. They give their employees remote
access to their
files so that work may be accomplished at home, on the road or
right in a
customer's office. And they're dazzled by the time-saving benefits
tasking - having several people working on a document or a project
at the same
time. What used to take them five days because five people had
to work on it
now takes them one day because all five people can do their work
at the same
Who is networking now?
Of the estimated 7.1 million small businesses in the United States,
PCs and 22% do computer networking. Those who do report a 20%
revenue per employee. And they say that the payback on their investment
networking takes less than one year.
Research by Charles River Strategies is equally glowing. It reports
companies with networks averaged at least 30% higher revenue per
compared to those with no computers and at least 11% higher than
computers but no networks.
To network or not to network?
3Com has developed a test to help you ascertain your readiness
It's worth the two minutes of your time to take it now:
* Do more than three employees share one printer?
* Do more than three employees share one fax machine?
* Do you plan to purchase another printer during the coming
* Do you plan to purchase another fax machine during the coming
* Do employees frequently share work processing documents and
* Would employee productivity increase by implementing an automated
accounting system that was available to more than one employer?
* Would employee productivity increase by having employees work
from the same
set of data such as a customer list or inventory database?
* Do more than two employees need Internet or email access?
* Do any employees who currently use a computer at work telecommute
If you answered yes to none or to one of the questions, you probably
a network yet. If you answered yes to two or three questions,
a network can add
to the productivity and efficiency of your business. If you answered
four or more questions, a network can significantly increase your
Two kinds of networks
The easiest to install and least expensive network to get up and
called a peer-to-peer network. It's decentralized and ideally
suited for small
offices with five or fewer computer to connect. No dedicated network
in control; each computer workstation is equal.
Picture it as a strand of computers connected together - allowing
each one to
share files with each other. Users can also e-mail, and share
word-processing programs. They can also share fax machines and
on a cost of under $3000 to connect five computers. That will
cover the cost of
the software and an easily-installed network interface card.
The alternative to a peer-to-peer network, called a client-server
from $5,000 to $10,000 and enables you to share larger items such
It connects six or more computers, one of which is the central
the server. The server stores all the programs and files for everyone
the network, each of whom is called the client.
This kind of network provides remote access - the ability for
travel or telecommute to access networked applications and printers
anywhere on earth, using only a telephone line and a modem. It
office employees to access Internet service providers with a shared
rather than one modem for each user - a substantial savings. It
speed and better performance than a peer-to-peer network.
What kind of network is right for you?
As peer-to-peer networks discover the heady benefits of speedy
and the delightful economies of sharing, they don't wait long
to become client-
server networks. If you have six or more computers right now,
having that many, open your own mind to investing in a client-server
It's just the ticket if you want your employees or co-workers
to be able to
connect to your network while they're traveling. If you have at
employees who could contribute to your company's effectiveness
by going online
and accessing the Net or sending email outside your company, you
investigate a client-server network before your competitors do.
light: Never forget that the prime beneficiaries of your sojourn
networking should be your profitability and your customers.
The cost of a network is really based upon many factors, one of
which is the
size of your business, equipment you may already own, the type
of network that
will work best for you and the software you'll need. An average
network for six employees runs $9800, assuming you already have
workstations and two printers. That figures includes the $1500
installation and training.
The lone wolf is gone
So what's happened to the age of the lone wolf entrepreneur? It's
going the way
of the Bronze Age, as technology is enabling the world to work
in a brand new
way - collaborating and connecting faster and more far-reaching
than ever, yet
easier and more affordably than ever, too. Small businesses now
ability to communicate as fast as the giants, to have instant
access to their
co-workers and to render far better service to their customers
than they could
before networking came into its prime.
The whole idea of computer networking started back in the early
it's been growing ever since. Costs have been dropping, speed
picking up and
technology getting simpler to use all along. The largest computer
company of all, 3Com, reports sales increases of 40% for each
of the past three
years. The Gallup Organization says that small business will increase
spending on computer networks by 280% in l997 compared to 1996.
The lone wolf
is now part of a pack.
Costly and complex no more
The reasons he has joined it is because the high costs and intimidating
complexity of networking have been replaced by lower costs and
Networking allows small businesses to respond more rapidly to
change, which is
one of the benefits of being a small business in the first place.
It lets them
stay more competitive by rendering better service, the key to
a time that businesses need every edge they can get.
When asked "How essential a part of your business has the
network become?" -
over 96% of small businesses surveyed by Charles River Strategies
"somewhat" to "very essential." Employees
can use printers and fax machines
without ever leaving their desks.
Three examples of networks in action
Consider the ten-person insurance office that had six PCs, one
and three ink jet printers. Before networking, if an employee
needed to print a
final copy, he would have to carry the disk to the computer with
printer connected to it. With networking, the employee can print
without leaving his desk. That's a savings in time. Money that
used to be spent
on desktop printers can now be used for high-quality printers
that can be
shared by all employees.
A small accounting firm was run by a person who had Internet access
latest IRS regulations. But his employees didn't. Purchasing a
modem and phone
line for each one would have been pricey. So the boss installed
a network with
a shared high-speed modem, giving all of his staff access to the
though a single ISDN line which is also used for phone calls and
The result? A savings of money and time along with instant responsiveness
A 12-person public relations agency assigned the responsibility
documents to several employees. Before networking, these employees
documents then handed them to their associates for review. After
drafts were distributed electronically. Reviewers could make comments
onto the electronic copy then return them to the writer. This
saved money by
significantly reducing paperwork and saved time by reducing the
How most small businesses use networking
More than 75% of small businesses use their networks for print
according to IDC Research, making this the single most common
network technology. The next most common network application is
and common databases such as scheduling, accounting and sales
clearly indicates that networks are actually changing the way
One of the fastest-growing network applications is accounting
70% of small businesses using accounting packages. Payroll, inventory
management and tax preparation have also enjoyed healthy increases
popularity among small businesses which have embraced the benefits
Talking dollars and cents
It isn't very easy to accurately project the impact that a network
will have on
your small business, but here are some guidelines to help you:
* You can calculate how much faster specific functions can be
a network, then multiply the minutes saved by the employees'
you figure on saving three minutes to print a document rather
it to a printer and waiting for it to print, and if you pay
salary of $20 per hour, you save $1 each time an employee
uses the network
to print. If 10 of your 20 employees print three documents
a day, the
network will save you $30 a day or $7500 a year - just on
* You can share printers, fax machines and modems if you have
a network. By
installing one, you save the cost of spending another $1200
or plain paper fax machine.
* Your customer service reps can take orders at least twice
as quickly by
using a centrally-located database as they can the old-fashioned
while eliminating the need to hire more reps as your business
idea is to have growth equate with prosperity rather than
Who do you network with?
That's the right question and here's the right answer: You network
who can empower your business while becoming more empowered themselves.
love using such a New Age word but it's the right word to describe
computers do for small business. Connecting to a network should
always be a
win- win-win situation with you winning, your network member winning
customer gaining because you have collaborated.
That means you'll probably connect with some or all of your co-workers
employees, that your network may also include some or all of your
and that it might also hook up with people who provide services
Guerrillas are always on the lookout for fusion marketing partners,
businesses that share the same kind of prospects. When you're
seeing a TV
commercial for a soft drink that suddenly becomes a fast food
spot and ends up
plugging the latest Disney movie, you're seeing fusion marketing
practiced by bigtime guerrillas.
But most fusion marketing occurs on a much smaller level - with
connecting for the mutual benefit of their customers. They share
the costs of
marketing while increasing their exposure. The Internet has given
rise to even
more fusion marketing as businesses of all sizes link to each
other with the
common goal of improving customer service and communication. Usually,
companies linking together share the same kind of prospects and
have the same
standards. One thing they certainly do have in common is an awareness
need for allies.
What every business needs
Every business needs allies. No matter what business you're in,
you should be
able to find allies in related businesses online, and joining
increase marketing presence for all of you. For example, you and
site operator can agree to exchange links or to feature one another's
information on your sites. Or you can plan joint promotions or
each of several businesses devotes time, money, or merchandise
in exchange for
a sponsorship notice. Think about other businesses that are seeking
customers that you seek, then contact those businesses about how
you can work
together to boost your online marketing punch.
Stop being so technical
Although guerrilla businesses enjoy the abundant benefits of computer
networking and continue to discover even more advantages to being
in ten places
at once, they never neglect the more high-touch form of personal
They attend gatherings of their peers and distinguish themselves
by the number
of questions they ask, speaking rarely of themselves and frequently
Their antenna are attuned to collaborative opportunities. They
success at the networking function not by how many business cards
out, but by how many potential fusion business opportunities they
are in a permanent quest to enlarge their network. They're well
there's a movement afoot called "collaborative entrepreneurship,"
and they know
that means networks. Small businesses are working with other small
with large companies, with buyers, sellers and a wide assortment
businesses to share talent, technology and capital, not to mention
Potential members of your network if you're thinking high-tech,
employees and co-workers, perhaps your key customers and suppliers,
possibly a few outside businesses. Potential members of your high-touch
include: competitors far away from you, competitors who are nearby,
entrepreneurs in or out of your community, investors, lenders,
What you can share
You can share hardware and software with members of your computer
can share databases and files. With members of your high-touch
network, you can
share plans, technology, management skills, customer service,
purchasing power, marketing and information.
These alliances should be entered into with the idea of being
than permanent. Their sole purposes should be mutual profits and
customer satisfaction. If the arrangement works out for a single
project or for
one year, it should be extended. Perhaps some of these businesses
hook up to your high-tech network. Possibly you'll connect to
The important thing for you to be doing is thinking in terms of
rather than going it alone. Whether you're collaborating with
other businesses, you'll see why being a rugged individualist
is no longer
where it's at. You'll tap into the power of collaborative efforts
aspects of your business and quickly learn why it is being increasingly
recognized as the foundation for entrepreneurial success.
Connecting with others has never been as inexpensive, as simple
and as well-
advised. It has existed for a long time - for when Thomas Edison
his new filaments with the Corning Glass Company and the light
bulb was born -
that was pure collaboration and cooperation.
But it has taken a quantum leap during the past decade and that's
openers. Not only do entrepreneurs realize the benefits they derive
connecting with others, but technology has made it possible for
them to do the
connecting in a more expedient manner than ever before. They can
be a small
business in reality, but act like a big business in practice -
with others all over the world - to the delight of their customers
Computers, the Internet, and networking
Remember when you first started reading about personal computers
and then you
saw that the media began running stories about them every day
and all over the
place? Remember when the exact same thing happened with the Internet?
same thing is happening right now with networking. It is rapidly
identified in both its high-tech and high-touch forms as the hallmark
It's happening and if you're not letting it happen in your business,
listening to the music.
Collaboration, cooperation, partnering, co-marketing, fusion,
tying in, jointly
promoting - the idea of teaming up with others has many names.
But the spirit
was inadvertently captured in music by The Beatles when they sang
Little Help from My Friends."
YOU CAN BE IN THIS BOOK!
America at Work: Guerrilla Marketing With a Secret Weapon really
interactive book, the first of its kind. How can you participate?
your questions or comments about the topic addressed in the chapter,
Conrad Levinson will answer your e-mail and include the best in
the final hard
copy version of this book. So ask a question, make an observation,
to our knowledge, and perhaps see your name in print! The entrepreneurs
world want to hear from you.
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* By submitting a question or comment, you are agreeing to give
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Chapter 8: MINING THE TREASURES OF THE INTERNET
Guerrillas know that the rainbow leading to the pot of gold heads
cyberspace. They realize that the Internet is not only an information
superhighway but also a communication, commercial and recreation
It's a new medium of marketing, easily the most comprehensive
beneficial to buyer and seller.
Almost daily, the Internet is gaining acceptance, clarity, and
making it a boon for online commerce to those who head onto that
facing in the right direction and who know the rules of the road.
It has never
been as simple to do as it is now, and when once there weren't
any rules, new
ones are being created, and guerrillas are using them as guideposts
Easy and easier
Guerrillas know there is a major difference between using the
is quite easy to do, and abusing the Internet, which is even easier
to do. For
proof, just check the junk mail in your emailbox or surf the web
and see how
many websites are speaking to nobody in particular.
The single biggest key to success on the Internet is to understand
and how the Internet fits into marketing. Marketing on the Internet
is only one
weapon of marketing and it must be combined with other weapons
to be a winner.
The guerrilla at the controls must see how the Net fits into the
marketing picture, then unleash a full-scale marketing program.
The Internet is
merely the biggest breakthrough in the history of marketing, but
it is not
If you intend to use it to market your offerings, as I advise
you to and
predict you will, I hope you see it in the context of your prospects'
One thing that they exceptionally love is learning and one thing
Internet does exceptionally well is provide stuff to learn.
What I do for a living
One morning I woke up and realized that I switched careers without
noticing it. When I went to sleep, I was a writer and speaker,
but when I awoke
and read the daily newspaper, it occurred to me that in the current
era what I
really am is a content provider. I provide content in the form
seminars, books, columns, articles, and online chat sessions and
And it dawned on me that being a content provider in an age when
currency was a good thing.
I'm still in awe of how the Net makes for a more efficient world.
its treasures for only four years and so I'm still discovering
on a regular
basis the wonders it holds for my family and me. It is with great
that I attempt to limit this chapter solely to the use of the
beautify your bank account. When I see my wife spend untold hours
viewing art from the Louvres, I know it has zilch to do with anybody's
I know that the treasures online are abundant and astonishingly
But this site is about America at work and not at play or school
else, so I'll stick to my cyberknitting, which is helping you
market on the Net
What you do for a living
If you're counting on a web site to contribute to your revenue
and you don't
see yourself as a content provider, you should rethink that part
No matter how you market online, underneath it all, you are providing
The more that content can be of benefit to your prospects, the
Guerrillas who wish to market on the Internet realize that of
the myriad of
marketing weapons this medium makes available to them-storefronts,
chat rooms, email, classified sections, search engines, directories-web
are only one.
The new way of the new world
The world is learning to buy things in a new way and going to
web sites is that
new way. I buy a new car every 25 years like clockwork and decided
to buy my
last car strictly using the web - just to see if it really could
be done. I
accessed many web sites and read the brochures. I checked the
of magazines such as"Car and Driver," "Road and
Track" and "Consumer Reports."
After picking the make and model that appeared best, I did my
Amazingly, everything worked. The experience was pleasant. I was
under pressure. The car was great. The price was dynamite. The
process took a
fraction of the time that old-fashioned car shopping would. And
I made a very
informed decision. I know that it took 40 years for the zipper
to go from being
invented and patented to being understood and used. I don't think
it will take
that long for online commerce to hit its peak.
Getting better all the time
I also think the Internet has been under-hyped if anything. The
best is yet to
come. The best has yet to be discovered, for the Internet is still
infancy. It continues to improve almost daily, adding substance
simplicity and speed.
In some parts of the world online subscriptions are growing at
the rate of 20
percent per month. There is an innovation in digital technology
copyrighted every three seconds. More than half of the revenues
Silicon Valley technology companies now come from products that
two years ago.
In l996, for the first time ever, PC sales were higher than TV
sales and there
was more email-177 billion pieces-than snail mail-a piddling 157
pieces. Perhaps most startling of all, there are now more computer
first graders in the world than computer literate first-grade
first graders are growing up in a neighborhood that includes the
are very comfortable in its environment and comfort is one of
the first things
you should seek as well.
The companies that will fare best on the Internet during the coming
those which are gaining the most intimacy with it during the present
What guerrillas know
They know even without any training at all they can create their
then post that site on the web. Remarkably easy-to-use software
now makes this
possible. Even small and start-up guerrillas can afford it, so
their sites can
wow every surfer in sight and open the door to the cybervault.
that opens it is a powerful offer, a truly desirable benefit,
that comes with a professional online presentation, and speedy
Guerrillas remember that time is far more important than money
and that online
visitors don't want you to waste theirs. Their sites don't overuse
techno- gimmicks to attract viewers. They don't squander their
guests' time by
asking them to consume precious time downloading unnecessary images.
the speed of data transmission gets faster each year, time will
growing in value.
The key to the online kingdom is content. Juicy, exclusive, valuable
will bring in the viewers the first time then bring them back
for more of the
same. Guerrilla content is heavy with text and laden with subheads
digestion while reading or scrolling, on a screen or piece of
It provides information the competitors' websites isn't providing-both
quality and quantity. It changes regularly. It is fresh and new,
to the world but to your target prospects. It demonstrates a noble
marketing by offering them data that can help them succeed at
it's making money, attracting a mate, enjoying a holiday or losing
People using the Internet aren't really as interested in you as
they are in
learning. Content teaches and that's why it reigns supreme in
A session and not a thing
From the very start, get used to seeing your website not through
your own eyes
but through those of a prospect. Using the Internet without abusing
viewing that website not as a thing but as a session. That means
should be different from every other session, yet each one must
right at your target audience, providing them with information
that can propel
them to their own goals. The more interactivity your site offers,
Make emailing ultra easy. Ask questions. Allow space for answers.
comments. Hold polls. Ask for opinions. Request advice. Put the
ball in your
Make certain that your website content connects closely with the
purpose of your marketing and your marketing theme. Your site
is both the voice
of your company as well as a conduit for individual service. Think
of it as the
display windows to your department store, so put exciting new
continuously to motivate shoppers to come back for another session.
Out of control in cyberspace
Maybe you can ski down a mountain on two random pieces of wood,
but you'll do
it with far more control using equipment designed especially to
get you down
that mountain safely and effectively. No matter how computer savvy
you may be,
you don't want to be out of control in the new world of the Internet.
has been designed especially to get you online safely and effectively.
prevents you from overlooking important details while giving wings
creativity, providing you with momentum and confidence in cyberspace.
If you really want to perform your own brain surgery, feel free
but if you're going to market on the Internet, the hands-on, in-control,
understanding-by- doing software of the day is mandatory armament.
Launching is just the start
The day your launch your website is Day One. From Day One you've
got to make
your site better and publicize it online and offline. That's when
you prove to
your visitors that your content does stay fresh and that your
response time to
email is less than 24 hours.
Guerrillas actually plan the freshening of their sites when they
launch. Their goal is to make their sites increase in value consistently.
know that content increases value, making their task very clear.
Who better to entice to your site than a person who already knows
where it is?
So guerrillas encourage regular visits and make it easy for people
return trips. To lure them back, guerrillas promise new things,
then live up to
those promises, even exceed them. For example, I might promise
10 new guerrilla
marketing weapons to be unveiled and then unveil 20.
Responding is the heart
When a prospect visits your website, regardless of how good it
prospect is not made to feel singled out or unique. But when he
or she sends
you an email and you respond instantly, then the prospect feels
knows he's receiving individual service and feels, on a deeper
he'll be treated by you like an individual and not a member of
Guerrillas know well that of the millions of people on the Internet,
teeny-tiny number takes the time and trouble to write. So the
and instantly take the time and trouble to respond. If they're
too busy, they
have designated someone else to do it.
Rapid and certain response may be the single most important factor
a loyal customer base. Plan at the outset how you'll arrange for
communications to ensure that you'll succeed at marketing online
Not linking is not thinking
The moment you launch your site you should be fine-tuning your
radar for fusion
marketing opportunities - connecting with others to spread the
while sharing the marketing investment. Free links, traded links
links can make you marketing partners with businesses around the
around the world.
Specialized newsgroups and forums can provide a ready-made audience
products and services. As you converse with these people in one-on-one
situations in chats or email, attach a four-line Internet signature
very own. The four lines after your name include your website,
phone and fax number.
Your job in finding links is to locate businesses that share the
same kind of
prospects as you, the same kind of standards, and the same kind
about marketing. Each is a potential gateway to your site, and
visitors. Surely you can support each other online, but you also
from teaming up offline or with a computer network. Alliances
with the goal of
profits for all are springing up all over the world, and no more
for them exists than online.
Going online? Think offline
The moment you go online is the moment you should be thinking
of how to promote
that site offline. Far more people reside offline than online,
on-liners, and so you've got to build awareness of your site in
the mass media
of radio, TV, newspaper and magazines as well as in direct mailings,
signs, and in directories.
Add your website address to your business cards, letterhead, brochures,
anywhere that you'd list your phone number or address. Affix it
invoices, catalogs, postcards, Yellow Page ads, press releases
More than one company has created a radio and TV jingle using
their website as
the words to the jingle. Even if you rarely advertise, you'll
be able to
generate awareness of your website with traditional ads.
What proud new parents do
Announce your new creation to the world. It's a website! Just
as you'd notify
potential and current clients of a change of address, you ought
your new web page with a special mailer. Send formal announcements
customer base and your referral sources. Send postcard mailers
prospects. It's a new world that you live in online and you want
to share it
You can reach many top-drawer prospects in schools, in clubs,
and throughout your community. Guerrillas talk about their area
while making presentations to these groups because they're cost-free,
forums for disseminating website addresses as well as establishing
Your offline world teems with people who would love to know where
to find you
online. To what groups do they belong? What newspapers do they
read? To which
magazines do they subscribe? What trade shows do they attend?
What do they have
in common? Your answers to these questions will lead you to the
media in which to promote your website.
Bad PR and how to get it
An easy way to make a lot of enemies in hurry is to announce a
website that is
not entirely up and running, that is currently still under construction,
that has nearly as many bugs as an Amazon rainforest. The thing
to do to avoid
such a situation is to do a mailing to your best friends and associates
announcing your site.
Encourage them to order without risk so you can see any bad things
site before the general public finds out. Make your mistakes with
friends because they'll understand. Forewarn them that they'll
be guinea pigs.
You don't want your first customers to be these critters.
Guerrilla retailers wouldn't dream of having a grand opening until
have been open at least a month so they can work out the kinks.
The same should
be true of your website. Get it up. Get it running. Get it up
to speed. Debug
it. Then let the world know about it.
Guerrilla marketing online basic training
* Know how to communicate. That means spelling correctly, punctuating
properly, being concise, getting to the point and using language
* Get to know the territory. The terrain is unfamiliar in cyberspace,
learn how to get comfortable in forums, newsgroups, conferences,
sessions, classified ad sections, web sites and electronic
These will be your battlefields; you don't want them to be
* Don't attack wearing a blindfold. Before you launch your online
know how to handle email-sending, reading, replying to it,
printing and saving it. Learn how to post messages to forums
newsgroups, how to reply to somebody else's message, and how
to upload to a
forum library. These activities should be second nature to
you before you
launch so that you don't have to think about them in the heat
* Be aggressive. You are invisible in the online world and you'll
way until you start participating. Your job is to participate
groups, post announcements, publish articles of value, hold
seek out listings in online directories, search for linking
some action going on your website. Your presence must be consistently
maintained with new articles, fresh promotions, and even real-time
discussion sessions right at your site.
* Pay close attention. Visit your own site regularly and respond
hours to all requests emailed to your site. Check the position
classified ad to be sure it's still near the top of the message
it's most likely to be read. Keep posting messages to forums
and continue to see if there are replies to them. Order from
in a while to make sure the machinery is well oiled.
* Personalize as much as you can. Even though guerrillas use
responding technology that allows their computers to send
automatically to people who mention a specific word or phrase
in their own
email, the powers of cyberspace smile upon those who personalize
message. Guerrillas do all in their power to establish warm,
* Follow up with tenacity. In the darkness of cyberspace, it's
easy to get
lost, and prospects forget lightning fast. Once guerrillas
contact, they knock themselves out to maintain it. They do
this with order
confirmation, emailed thank-yous, bimonthly or quarterly email
mailings, brochures, catalogs, and anything else customers
helpful. Being guerrillas, they care about ongoing relationships
than quick one-time sales.
* Know what customers love to read about. They do not love to
read about you.
They do love to read about their dreams, their problems, the
can provide to their problems and the benefits you can bestow
any information that is of value to them. They are spending
more and more
time on their computer and are growing more and more open
* Realize what makes online commerce so special. It's not the
It's not merely the speed and the convenience. As with any
commerce, it's the strength of your offer. If it's extraordinary,
commerce will do wonders for you. If it is ordinary, all the
the world won't help. You still must find an appealing way
to offer value
while inspiring confidence. If marketing your offering would
marketing it online will speed you even faster to success.
And if it sells
in Keokuk, there's a good chance it will sell in Kuala Lumpur.
The weekly surf
If you want the best education possible about the Internet, find
it with a
one-hour weekly surf through the Net. Look for anything and be
everything. Find yourself and find your competitors. Check their
closely as your check your own and be certain to check your own.
Be on the alert for great ideas as well as terrible ideas, knowing
from both. This regular surfing session will keep you abreast
happening and what can happen, as-well-as keeping you one step
ahead, which is
exactly where your prospects hope you'll be. Guerrillas are inherently
but in cyberspace, their exploring instinct is turned up even
they know their audience loves new things.
Willie Sutton said he robbed banks because that was where the
Guerrilla marketers go online because more and more, that's where
are. Online guerrillas reach hundreds, thousands, or even tens
of thousands of
potential customers by spending a few hundred dollars a month
or less. They are
able to zero in on their customers and market to them in a brand
better way than they ever could before.
Many companies already say that the Internet contributes to their
profitability. Many more businesses will make fortunes using the
the year 2000 and beyond. I can tell you right now which ones
they will be:
they'll be the guerrillas who learned how to get the most from
Chapter 9: Ten technologies that can deliver high returns
Even more noteworthy is that the investment is lower and yet the
higher. Technology gets the credit. Technology and sanity.
There are new forms of non-technical high-return marketing these
including rewarding customers and wooing prospects in luxury box
professional sporting events. There's also the remarkably high-
marketing employed by guerrillas who speak free-of-charge at clubs
and win new
customers with their expertise, warmth, and apparent generosity
A vast and inviting array
But because the array of high-tech marketing methods for small
businesses is so
vast and inviting, I'm focusing this chapter on those methods.
marketing is both new and economical. I hope you'll consider all
the ways you
can leverage technology and use as many as make sense for your
Not unlike the mountain climber who scales the high peak because
you can enlist the aid of high- tech marketing because it's there,
can, and because it can propel you to high peaks of profit.
I know at least ten ways that technology can boost your profitability.
realizing that nine of these ways didn't exist as I was starting
career, and that everyone was oblivious of the tenth- faxing.
One of these ten methods of high-tech high-return marketing provides
arsenal of 27 guerrilla- marketing weapons that you can employ.
It's one thing
to be able to employ them. It's something completely different
to actually get
them going for you. And it's a different ballgame altogether if
you employ a
multitude of these weapons.
But if you're a guerrilla you will.
Technology now provides so many avenues for marketing a small
merely pondering the options establishes the momentum for traveling
they lead. If you realize that with the right software you can
certificates in your office you might open your mind to offering
them to your
prospects and customers. If you discover the excitement and the
instant rush of
marketing in online conferences you might add them to your existing
Easy to be a nerd
Recent developments in technology now enable you to employ high-powered
marketing tactics and techniques that were beyond your reach only
a short time
ago. They were too complex, too expensive, or filled with too
many bugs. Now
the bugs are gone; well, not all of them but nearly all. Prices
dramatically and technology is now an equal-IQ-opportunity. It's
easier to use
than ever, as the people who design the equipment and write the
seem to have increased in intelligence. Either they have or the
has-because you don't need training to be a nerd.
Many of the rules have been changed by easy-tech: you don't have
to be an
artist to be creative; you don't have to be a marketing genius
to market with
genius. You don't have to be near people to closely connect with
don't have to have a publisher to be published. You don't even
have to be a big
business to earn profits like one.
Technology gives small businesses the chance to market aggressively
spending aggressively, to profit lavishly without risking foolishly.
Setting the stage for high returns
High-tech high-return marketing begins with a low-tech high-sanity
That means understanding that technology must fit into your marketing
the other way around.
Technology left on its own can be a wild beast that can destroy
you if you're
not in control. So you start by being in control, you stay in
control, and you
maintain control, never turning the entire process over to technology.
the boss and technology is the employee.
Where guerrilla technology begins
Guerrilla technology begins with insight into where low-tech touches
It happens inside your head when you see the two as compatible
assisting if the low-tech is in charge. Somebody has to be in
charge and it
probably shouldn't be a machine. That's why, to get off to the
withtechnology, you don't begin with technology.
* Begin with a marketing plan and calendar so that you know
going and how you'll get there. Technology will be part of
that plan and
will help produce many of the marketing weapons on your calendar,
requires that you to call the shots. You do that with a plan
* Consider giving things away for free. Because you are living
in the center
of the information age it's now possible to give away a great
valuable information that will help your prospects and put
the hint of a
grin on your accountant's face.
* Remember that confidence in the seller is the prime attraction
to the buyer
and that you need credibility to earn that confidence. Marketing
communications materials with a professional appearance give
credibility you need. Plus you can now create these materials
paying the price that this credibility formerly cost.
* As they become more interdependent and willing to network,
receive useful assistance through fusion marketing arrangements.
makes it easier than ever to connect, share leads, co-market,
share in the
rendering of services, and achieve new profits together.
* Follow-up is now so easy that it's mandatory if you're serious
turning a consistent profit. Technology helps you both save
the names of
those with whom you do business and stay in touch with them
so they know
you care. When you do, they'll be more likely to do business
with you for
the long haul. Other benefits of customer follow-up include
business, testimonials, and customer data.
TEN TECHNOLOGIES THAT CAN DELIVER HIGH RETURNS
Armed with the momentum granted by standing still a moment, you're
now ready to
proceed. You will investigate the ten ways that technology can
help you satisfy
your current customers, convert prospects into customers, energize
profits, and accomplish the equally noble goals of saving time
while being a
lot more fun than old-fashioned work.
Are there only ten ways? Of course not. The number is closer
to ten times ten,
but because we're all so busy these days, I've whittled it down
to ten. Not
only that, I've counted the Internet four times because it serves
marketers in at least four ways. And I haven't counted many technological
breakthroughs because they're not involved enough with marketing.
included a video brochure for although it is high-tech, it is
not necessarily a
do-it-yourself technology as these others are. Hey, I know it's
list, but it can put you over the top.
I wonder if anyone ever compiled a list of the ten ways that fire
mankind or ten ways that the wheel is cool. I doubt it, but still,
here I am,
elaborating on the glories of technology helping small business
-- just in case
you hadn't noticed. Keep in mind that your competitors are noticing
job is to notice more than they do. Here are the ten high-tech
marketing technologies to notice:
* Teeming databases filled with the names of your customers
along with a wealth of information about each of them. These
some of the best examples of technology in marketing. Stored
information allows you to establish lasting relationships
of mutual value.
If you don't have a computer you can, and should, keep the
same kind of
information in longhand .
* The Internet with e-mail for communication because the speed
convenience allows businesses to be of better service to their
and to themselves. You can mail to multitudes with the same
simplicity of mailing to one. Although we are in the information
age we are
also in the timesaving age-and e-mail is a means of living
in both ages at
the same time-or else. If you don't have an e-mail address,
prospects and customers to find someone who does. Consumers
things in a new way-that new way is the Internet.
* The Internet for access to data. The Internet is an information
super-library that's bigger every minute, more valuable every
every day, and easier to navigate every week. Given the high
information and the ease with which the Internet makes it
business operating without this particular library card is
like a warrior
battling with one hand tied behind his back. You can learn
industry, take a peek into the sites of competitors, obtain
up-to-the-moment information from around the world, and stay
in tune with
change and history as it happens.
* The Internet for access to people. Access to people is why
the Internet is
a communications superhighway. E-mail is just one way people
one way to get in touch with people online. You can also connect
in real-time chat situations for some of the most valuable
research ever available. Real-time chatting is a powerful
whether in a one-on- one chat or a large online conference.
you can reach people through common-interest groups online.
messages at no cost and if your interest dovetails with theirs,
probably be delighted to hear from you. You can also write
and publish your
own online column, demonstrating how good your business is
by the quality
of your information, then showing people how to contact you.
about 50 million people on the Internet now. That's a lot
of people you can
* The Internet for Web marketing may be the most profit producing
of all the
ten technologies because people are beginning to look to the
Web for the
things they want to buy. As they learned to use the Yellow
Pages in the
past, they're now learning to use the Internet to search for
values in the world-or in their community. To guerrillas,
this represents a
stupendous opportunity to reach targeted prospects who make
known by visiting a guerrilla's Web site. It's the right time
to give the
site visitor loads of things to help them succeed. Marketing
successful when the creators view the effort as a chance to
prospects succeed with a selected goal-earning money, losing
finding love, eliminating termites. A winning Web site is
filled with good
information, invites interaction, and stays fresh all the
* A computer for producing marketing materials would include
a scanner and
color laser printer, long with software that makes producing
marketing weapons a simple and nearly joyous task. I say joyous
it's a whale of a lot of fun to produce highly creative marketing
after thinking half your life that you didn't have a creative
bone in your
There are many guerrilla-marketing weapons that may be produced
in your office
with your computer. The process of guerrilla marketing is to consider
weapons, utilize many of them, keep careful track of those that
contributing the most to your bottom line, then eliminate the
losers and double
up on the winners.
Some of these marketing vehicles are musts, such as business cards
envelopes, while others are enticing options, like multimedia
frequent-buyer club ID cards. Open your mind wide and say, "ahhhh,"
contemplate the new arenas in which a computer will allow you
Newsletters-Good ones are mailed to customers and prospects
regular basis (at least quarterly) and follow the rule of
is, 75% of the newsletter provides information of worth and
25% of the space is dedicated to the sale of your products
services, and those of your fusion partners.
Flyers-These should be considered and written as all headlines
because you've got to make your point quickly or not at all.
known as circulars, you can distribute flyers in a variety
by posting them as signs, including them in orders, and giving
to your fusion-marketing partners to distribute for you-just
Direct mail letters-You can keep these in your computer,
update and personalize at the drop of a beanie. Smart businesses
don't write letters the moment they're needed, but instead
inventory of proven-in-action marketing letters in their
ready to print and mail.
Postcards-As much as I believe in the power of direct mail,
to favoring postcards because they remove from the recipient
decision to open an envelope. In standard size or oversize
nine-inch format, color postcards are potent door openers.
Letterheads-Guerrilla businesses have a clear identity that
communicated in their marketing and in their stationery.
to produce high-quality stationery at very economical prices
their computer, lowering the cost of doing business while
their professional appearance.
Envelopes-Computers enable small businesses to not only design
produce envelopes that carry forth the business identity,
assure the identity is consistent with other marketing materials..
Guerrillas experiment with paper colors to improve response
always make sure their Web site address appears on the envelope.
Business cards-Guerrilla business cards have a personal name,
name, title, address, phone number, fax number, e-mail address,
site address, logo, theme line, and open to reveal a list
and services or business-relationship benefits.
Invoices-These aren't boring business forms when they're
guerrilla marketer. The guerrilla marketer recognizes that
are marketing opportunities and consequently prints valuable
information, in addition to the standard names and numbers,
Purchase order forms-Computers allow guerrillas not only
their own PO forms but turn them into semi-brochures by marketing
related products and services. All standard office forms
by guerrillas and transformed into forms plus marketing tools.
Brochures-These are high-powered weapons in the hands of
who realize brochures are perfect forums for including all
details of a business's offerings. Guerrillas are so proud
brochures they create that they frequently incorporate the
in their other marketing, then send the brochure with a personal
note, thanking the person for the request. That personal
with follow-up within a week, results in many brochure-requesters
converting to customers.
Catalogs-I know the catalogs you get in the mail are glossy,
and expensive but yours don't have to be , and they especially
have to be expensive. Growing numbers of business are enjoying
increased revenues through catalog sales and now those catalogs
so easy and inexpensive to design and produce, perhaps you
give thought to producing one as well.
Invitations-Guerrillas love to play favorites, their favorites
their best customers. Guerrillas have private sales, parties,
special events, and they print handsome invitations to these
gatherings with their computers. It's not quite like printing
own money but some small business owners feel that it comes
Gift certificates-People are often on the lookout for gift
your suggestion of a gift certificate might be just the ticket.
cost to print a sign that reads, "Ask about our gift
or to add that line to an ad, Web site, or brochure, is minimal-but
the gift certificate can become a whole new profit-center.
again, printing these feels like printing cash.
Coupons-With the aid of computers, you can print coupons
discounts, free merchandise, free services, almost anything
intensify desire for your product. Often, a person who is
fence will leap off and onto your customer list if motivated
coupon, especially one with a sense of urgency implanted
by a cut-off
Contest entry forms-Many smart small businesses hold contests
order to acquire names for their mailing lists. Retailers
entry boxes in the rear of their store, forcing entrants
to pass the
store's merchandise in order to enter the contest. Computers
the business-owner to design and produce very tempting entry
Club ID cards-Increasing numbers of guerrilla marketers are
frequent-buyer clubs or VIP-customer clubs, then sealing
relationship with members by means of an attractive club
identification card. Savvy marketers even print member diplomas.
Greeting cards-Few members of society seem to be as nostalgic
guerrillas. These savvy business-owners always seem to have
supply of in-house created cards. They celebrate customer
relationship-anniversaries, send thank-you cards, holiday
birthday cards, you- name-it cards, because they've learned
personal bond strengthens the business bond. Cards are printed
computer and signed by hand with a brief personal note.
Press releases-Savvy entrepreneurs have learned that when
it comes to
PR, the media needs them as much as they need the media.
Computer-generated press release forms present news in a
the media appreciate, and often result in business-owners
much-appreciated free publicity.
Signs-Because so many cities and towns now have community
boards, guerrillas are certain to have their signs posted
boards constantly. Guerrillas realize this increasingly popular
to market is an economical means of reaching prime prospects.
Point-of-purchase materials-Because guerrillas know that
three-quarters of purchase decisions are made right at the
purchase, they are quick to produce POP materials that tie
their other marketing and generate impulse-buy decisions.
Trade show materials-Guerrillas know that trade shows represent
second largest marketing expenditure in the nation (trailing
magazine ads) and that trade show expenses account for 18%
marketing budgets. So marketers create, design, and produce
compelling graphic presentations of their sales stories,
in a variety
of formats, strictly for use at trade shows.
Audio-visual aids-Top marketers know that points made to
the eye are
78% more effective than points made to the ear - so they
audio-visual support for their presentations. These take
the form of
diagrams, before-and-after photos, illustrations, the product
use-almost anything that can help prospects understand how
benefit by purchasing. The marketers enlist the aid of computers
produce these weapons.
Flipcharts-These versatile marketing weapons have audio-visual
built in, present a sales story with an order and a flow,
powerful sale-closers even in the hands of a non- salesperson.
Flipcharts are flexible, portable, and now, more economical
Research questionnaires-The most sage of all guerrillas prepare
at the outset of their marketing program so they can compile
significant data about their customers- empowering future
finding people who fit their customer profile. Computers
design and print the questionnaires but also help store and
Books and booklets-People seem to trust published writers
why many small business owners write and self-publish their
booklets and books. I did. I didn't have a computer to make
inexpensive, and simple; still, it worked out exceptionally
me. However, your computer can deliver those benefits, so
ought to work out even better for you.
Proposals-It's at proposal time that the rubber meets the
road and a
professional presentation of your benefits will pay off the
Computer-produced proposals add credibility, visibility,
excitability while instilling a confidence that is beyond
Multi-media presentations-What were once complicated, troublesome,
high-powered, and glamorous are now simple, hassle-free,
high-powered, and glamorous. Multimedia presentations, once
invitations to disaster, are now seen as requisites for successful
presentations. Such presentations allow you to demonstrate
the benefits your business offers while proving beyond words
you're comfortable with technology.
* A computer for networking gives you invaluable opportunities
enlist the aid of others, fusion market, and team-up with
others not near
you. When you share by networking you reduce costs, increase
improve customer service, decrease paperwork, save time, increase
efficiency, eliminate meeting time, and gain flexibility.
* A fax for communicating is still essential. Although email
is becoming more
and more popular and has already surpassed "snail mail"
in usage, the
primary method of business communications in today's offices
facsimile machine. It enables you to transmit documents and
what used to seem like an instant, but compared with the speed
seems like an eon.
* Fax-on-demand is the ideal marketing technology in an age
in which, for
many people, instant gratification is not quite fast enough.
want to call your toll-free number and receive a fax of your
price list, or something before they hang up. You'd better
be prepared to
serve them because they know their time is too valuable to
* Cellular telephones enable you to stay in touch with associates
customers, and combination cellular phones/pagers/two-way
radios that grant
you access to the Internet increase your connectivity. This
technology is a
boon to you if your business depends on superlative customer
Although the ten technologies we've just examined offer priceless
are not high-priced technologies. Always keep in the forefront
of your mind
that whether or not you embrace them, there's a very good chance
Even when you've made these technologies valued members of your
keep your eyes peeled for new technologies that will add oomph
marketing. They're coming down the techno-pike a mile a minute,
price as they arrive. They're sure to come. They always do. Some
them. Others are frightened by them. Guerrillas are fascinated
There will a direct correlation between your fascination with
the beauty of
these technologies and your fascination with the beauty of your
Chapter 10: GUERRILLA MARKETING WITH A SECRET WEAPON
by Jay Conrad Levinson
THE GLOWING FUTURE OF SMALL BUSINESS Around 4000 years ago, when
the whole idea
of individual enterprise began to spread like wildfire across
the planet, all
businesses were small businesses. Some wanted to remain small
others wanted to become big businesses; many were happy just to
business; all were limited by the technology of the day.
From 2000 BC until nearly 2000 AD, a lot of well-managed, right-thinking
businesses have either failed or achieved only a percentage of
potential. They did their best and certainly can not be faulted.
businesses fell woefully short of their true capabilities.
* The incredible explosion
There was an incredible explosion as the 20th century drew to
a close. It was
the technology explosion, and it's still happening.
Sure, there was technology in the 19th century, and it brought
industrial revolution. But in the late 20th century there's been
a quantum leap
in technology, and instead of favoring huge companies with mass
capabilities, it's helping small businesses unleash their full
dramatically increase their profits, and provide their customers
unsurpassed excellence of product and service.
Through the millennia the rules changed as we evolved. But they're
more now than they ever have before because technology is coming
of age, and
all the research and development of the mid-20th century is paying
big-time, as dreams transform into realities. Small businesses
are now made
limitless by the technology of the day.
The explosive growth of small business has resulted in government
business becoming more accommodating to small businesses, illuminating
futures with promise as never before. The small business explosion
was set off,
then magnified, by many revolutions going on at once.
Revolutions all around us
Small business has everything going for it, as the world, especially
States, is smack dab in the middle of at least ten revolutions.
Far more than
ten are occurring now, including revolutions in medicine, space
and transportation; but the future of small business is impacted
by ten in
* The technology revolution, also known as the digital or wireless
revolution, provides the Davids of the world with high-tech slingshots
which to do battle against the Goliaths. Entrepreneurs, with the
Mother Nature and Father Time, now run mom and pop operations.
location in town, the Internet, is affordable for one and all.
How long will
this revolution continue? Forever is a good guess. If you've got
business, congratulations on your timing.
* The time revolution is one in which not only everyone has a
new awareness of
time, but more importantly, an awareness of how rare and precious
Ironically, as people tune in to the scarcity of time, they are
scarcity, as workweeks increase and leisure time decreases. The
future of small
business is one that grants more time, thanks to the combination
revolutions: the technology revolution that enables us to save
time, and the
time revolution that places a higher value on that saved time.
* The psychology revolution allows us to discard unproven notions
and adjust our society to those ideas that have been proven. New
human behavior are constantly reported to the public and the public
responding with a new sense of self-awareness, a striving towards
self-improvement, a self-esteem that motivates toward more education,
learning, greater skills, and a more evolved attitude. We are
people buy, why they don't buy, what business practices turn them
which turn them on.
* The information revolution is one that gets much press these
because there is a greater wealth of information than ever, because
continues to increase exponentially, and because information is
to more people than ever. The Internet, still a baby, is the greatest
information in history. The babies of today are learning how to
Internet to gain access to that data, and their teachers are learning
the Internet to teach more effectively.
* The relationship revolution has already started and will continue
the next century if, indeed, it ever ends. Warm relationships
established not only in romantic couplings, but also in personal
between businesses and customers, businesses and suppliers, businesses
employees, businesses and other businesses. The number of couples
together at home is even increasing. The irony is that technology
future, considered cold and impersonal, are really allowing people
to warm up
to each other, grow close, be human, be anything but cold and
*The consciousness revolution is the underlying reason behind
revolution and the relationship revolution. It is also the guiding
the entire movement toward small business as people strive to
call their own
shots, pull their own strings, be in charge of their own destinies,
their own futures. Our consciousness today allows us to embrace
technology that we feared yesterday.
* The education revolution is dramatically increasing the quality
learning. Computers are employed, and the Internet is accessed;
are also learning that non-assigned seating increases attention
allowing kids to speak to each other, instead of passing notes,
behavior problems. Smaller classes, more individualized attention,
increased use of technology are allowing educators to succeed
at the true
purpose of schooling, which is not necessarily to teach as
much as it is to
instill in children a love of learning.
* The connectivity revolution is underway with a force that
is changing the
entire world. People are connecting with each other at functions
community as well as via telephones, pagers, fax machines,
networked computers, chat rooms, and video conferencing. Phone
cable firms, technology businesses, even automotive companies
constructing new communication infrastructures. The word "virtual"
to be synonymous with "connected," as technology
makes it easier than ever
to hook up with others. Media reports make apparent the benefits
collaboration. Is the connectivity revolution akin to the
revolution? They're one and the same because the main purpose
* The work revolution is the one in which you're involved right
to technology your small business is able to compete with
much bigger ones.
This revolution is making itself known at the workplace and
especially through the elimination of the lines between the
two. The number
of small businesses, home-based businesses, and start-up businesses
growing. What isn't growing is the number of employees at
Many former employees have been downsized out of jobs and
into lives as
entrepreneurs. Again, technology itself is fueling this revolution,
creating work within it. The Internet alone is a fertile breeding
for new companies, new jobs, and new work opportunities.
* The candor revolution is revving up as the public tires of
phony games and
longs for honesty, disclosure, and revelation. Candor is the
theme of the
times as new issues emerge in literature, politics, entertainment,
business, and the media. This candor is a safeguard against
which is counter-productive to evolution. The candor revolution
the real world from the dream world and enables society to
get on with the
business of reality. It also allows people to see big business
full-time employment in a new context, held up to the light
business and less than full-time employment.
All these revolutions are signaling a new message. Judging by
the growth of
small business, it appears people are getting that message. The
message is that
the time has never been better to establish, operate, and succeed
with a small
Smallness over bigness
Because of these simultaneous revolutions, none foreseen to peter
out in the
near future, the environment of the future favors smallness over
individuality over depersonalization. It favors the guerrilla
with the spirit
of innovation, cooperation, warmth, and sensitivity.
The future of economics favors three areas in which small businesses
almost automatic edge: flexibility, customer service, and personalization.
future belongs to companies that can act like small businesses
in these areas,
regardless of their size.
Increasing your comfort level
The future of small business will glow in direct proportion to
level business owners can achieve with so much change going on.
You must be
comfortable with technology because the revolution will go on
whether or not
you are part of it. If you feel at home with it you'll be able
to tap into the
power and momentum of technological advancements that can put
your company into
a hyper-profit mode. If you're hazy about technology, intimidated
by it, or
planning to avoid it, you've got three strikes against you as
you step up to
Remember that nobody was born with technological enlightenment.
has it had to learn it. And the best time to learn it is immediately.
longer you are involved with technology, the greater your comfort
the sooner you embrace it, the sooner you'll reach a comfort level.
The fortunes amassed by companies in technology are the result
of products and
services that didn't even exist a decade ago. Even the largest
sophisticated Fortune 500 companies can't have used computer technology,
been involved with the Internet, longer than many small business
In l984 (hardly the Dark Ages) the average product development
cycle was three
years. By l990, it was 18 months. In l997, the average cycle is
six months, and
it's getting even faster. New products are introduced at a lightning-fast
and the successful small business owner of the future will not
be one who
learns everything but one who learns one thing after another and
knows where to
go for that information.
Your technology-comfort level must be equaled by your grace and
function in a newly time-aware society, as well as by your new
understanding of people. It must additionally be matched by more
information, closer relationships, a higher consciousness overall,
pertinent education, closer connections to allies, a more effective
method, and a more open and honest approach to everything. If
comfortable with these changes, you'll have trouble dealing with
a public that
Heads and tails at the same time
Business owners who are skilled in contrasting areas will control
the future of
* They must be able to communicate with large numbers of people.
At the same
time... They must be able to communicate one to one.
* They must excel at written communications because of increases
electronic networking. At the same time... They must excel
because of more in-person networking.
* They must be adept at the broad strokes of strategic planning.
At the same
time... They must be adept at the crucial details of running
* They must be at home with the futuristic values of speed and
candor. At the
same time... They must be at home with the traditional values
* They must be aggressive in competition, with an eye towards
profits. At the
same time... They must be aggressive in collaboration, with
an eye towards
* They must offer the credibility and professionalism of a big
the same time... They must offer the warmth and personal touch
of a small
* They must have a near-religious zeal for commitment. At the
They must keep an eagle eye open and watching for innovation
* They must be able to act without worrying about what others
think. At the
same time... They must be able act with acute sensitivity
to what others
* They must be able to grow and expand without sacrificing profitability.
the same time... They must be able to profit and flourish
* They must be outstanding in their own field no matter what
it is. At the
same time... They must be outstanding in marketing, for everything
As mandatory as a thumb
Must you believe that technology is mandatory for small business
now and in the
future? Yes, unless you think a thumb isn't required for a hand
to do its thing
It used to be that a computer was considered a luxury, and in
the same way, I
guess my puppy would consider a thumb on his paw to be a luxury.
A computer is
now compulsory equipment for guerrillas-and the ability to get
the most out of
computer technology is the basic training.
Guerrillas are so tuned in to technology that "upgrade"
is their middle name.
This penchant for upgrading is the guerrilla safeguard against
of being buffeted by rumors about technology, guerrillas don't
hold back, but
invest in the best available, and know they can upgrade later
when the rumors
become truths, if they ever do.
Saving money skydiving
In the purchase of life support equipment for an ocean dive or
guerrilla wouldn't be primarily motivated by saving money. That
knows that forsaking quality to save money in the purchase of
equipment is often a false economy.
By viewing the cost of technology as an investment rather than
guerrillas are able to live in the present, escape from the past,
for the future. They've seen how the right technology has a short
and how it can help generate profits that make a business owner
wonder why he
or she waited so long in the first place.
The miniaturization of America
Small business is both the largest and the fastest growing segment
American economy. The greatest numbers of employees are employed
business. Businesses are getting smaller. Families are shrinking.
shrinking. Even big corporations are getting smaller.
From the 1940s to the 1990s small business believed that growth
was its prime
mission. But the more this passion was practiced, the more it
businesses. It strangled the enterprise with a dearth of profits
and the owner
with a surfeit of new problems caused by swimming in uncharted,
waters that were over his head to begin with.
It wasn't until recently that small business came to its senses
that big does not automatically mean successful and that expansion
always a blessing. Instead of diversification and gigantism, a
upon focus and precision is coming.
The goals of small business
The new goals are not simply to grow and make as many sales as
increasing profitability will always be a goal. Now, the goals
business also include establishing as many relationships as possible
rendering the best service possible. The goal of future small
business will be
the creation of an environment in which the journey is every bit
and rewarding as the destination and the establishment of a company
durable, flexible, and interdependent, yet self-sufficient.
Rather than pursuing goals established by their ancestors, small
pursuing goals in accordance with newly reexamined priorities.
New times and new priorities
These days Americans have priorities that rank right up there
with the quest
for honest profits. Glowing, increasing, substantial profits are
not to be
underestimated, but you, your family, and your friends are more
profits. You know that time is far more valuable than money. It
should come as
no surprise that free time is also a priority; time that can be
spent in your
own recreational pursuits, with your family, or shared with friends.
Many small business owners place the pursuit and attainment of
their top priority. It's not too hard to tell which businesses
are out for the
most money, and which are out to do well and be the best.
The thrill of a challenge
A crucial element of small business will always be the sense and
challenge. For it is the meeting and surmounting of challenges
passion, and it is passion that makes business profitable. The
business owners are the most passionate-about their business,
their customers, excellence, and success. Their passion is made
by the service and quality their business offers.
The entrepreneurs of today seek the love of work as a goal. Being
they look forward to their work on a daily basis. Although their
might not have used the word "fun," small business owners
no longer have a
problem with using it to describe their employment. They want
their work to be
fun, and they've structured it to be that way. They know that
winning is more
fun than losing, so they've positioned themselves as victors.
The newest priority, although it stems from age-old enlightenment,
balance-balance between work and leisure, between getting bigger
better, between becoming wealthy with money and becoming wealthy
fulfillment. Guerrillas strive for balance above all; knowing
it is the most
difficult goal to attain and the most rewarding over time.
Homework up ahead
Much of the future of small business will take place in a location
via slippers-the home office.
Studies by the Small Business Administration show that 95% of
make a profit the first year. A survey by Income Opportunities
reported that 94% of home business owners say they enjoy working
from home most
of the time, and 63% like it all of the time. One aspect many
of them relish is
the equivalent of an extra decade granted to their lives by freedom
commuting. Another highly regarded benefit of a home business
is the control of
a work schedule so that the care of kids can be managed from home
turned over to outside childcare.
The U.S. Department of Transportation tells us that in l992 there
million telecommuters, and by 2002 there will be 15 million. That's
650% increase in ten years. Sounds like a lot more kids in the
future will be
with their parents during those crucial formative years.
Between l991 and l996, the number of full and part time-home workers
U.S. grew from 26 million to more than 40 million, according to
research and consulting firm. That number is increasing with each
enter into this word processor, and it's predicted to hit somewhere
million and 75 million during the year 2000.
Hmmm, that certainly sounds like the glowing future of small business
I've been working from my home, living in that future and loving
it, since l971
and haven't regretted one second. That's a lot of time to amass
regrets, but I
can't think of even one.
The biggest drawback to working from home, according every report,
is lack of
social contact. That's why coffee shops are flourishing and why
be surprised that coffee shops' prime customers are small business
Coffee shops provide a non-alcoholic solution to the loneliness
well as providing a superb networking forum. We've all read of
multi-billion dollar corporations started in a garage. Soon, we'll
of those created over lattes at Starbucks.
The starting point
Here I am bursting with all this good news about technology and
its ability to
shorten your workweek and increase your leisure, but your should
technology is not shortening the workweek for big business employees.
of the widespread reverberations of the technology explosion the
employee of a multi-national corporation in l996 worked 20% more
slept 20% less than he or she did in l986.
Right now, the best place for technology to work its timesaving
freedom-granting wonders is in a small business. The starting
point is in the
mind of the small business owner who creates a plan with time
and freedom built
into its core.
Those big corporations that are asking for more work from their
a wealth of advanced technology; you can be certain of that. But
have the mindset of saving time for their employees to use for
than for earning a living.
Technology can work its wonders for you, but only if you use it
in the right
manner; and that means keeping in mind humanity, beginning with
your own. It's
you who will determine how to spend your extra time and money.
Your job, from
the beginning, is to remember that technology is a tool and not
a master; that
it should be more about people than things, and that its greatest
are not limited to your bottom line, but to places within you.
Fitting into the future
Woody Allen once said that a nuclear holocaust isn't all that
bad if you're
dressed for it. I'm here to say that the technology explosion
is going to be
wonderful for you-if you're dressed for it. You've got to dress
with the proper technology of the day and prepare yourself, your
your allies, and your suppliers, to ride the crests of the multiple
rather than try to swim against the tide.
The tide is carrying the wave of technology toward you so fast
innovation in digital technology is copyrighted worldwide every
It's not a future that you can hide from because it's too sweeping
You may pick up a book at a bookstore and learn secrets that you
competitors never learn; but they know all about the revolutions,
the one concerning technology, and they're doing everything they
outsmart you, out-market you, out-service you, and outperform
you. Many of them
can outspend you, but can they outthink you?
They can't if you're all set for the future and geared up to capitalize
the momentum that has already been achieved. That future favors
as each of the revolutions favors small business as well.
If you're a small business or even planning to start one, you've
going for you now. Armed with the right equipment, and enlightened
by the right
attitude, you'll be glowing as brightly as your future.