My brother, David Crook, went hiking this afternoon with his daughter, Michelle Dias, at Pinnacle Peak Park. They came across this adorable Eastern Screech Owl and its two babies.
From the moment I met Becky Blanton online last August, I always suspected her claim to fame would be unique. "Ordinary" is not in her vocabulary. Becky has become a dear friend and mentor. She is remarkable. She helps me help others start and sustain small businesses and nonprofits. She sees me advocating for 4 Paws for Ability, and joins the fray. Multitalented and multiexperienced, she is everywhere at the same time. That said, read how she became one of Mashable's 5 People Who Broke the Rules of Social Media and Succeeded Keep your eye on Becky Blanton. She's only just begun.
This is a question Gerry McGovern asks in today's article on Giraffe Forum. It's something we all need to ask ourselves, no matter what size of business we operate. McGovern asks if the feedback you're getting for your website truly reflects the needs of the majority of your customers. He goes on to ask if the customers who give feedback reflect "the top tasks of the average customer or do they have exceptional tasks and demands? Because," he says, "if their tasks and demands are exceptional then changing your website to meet them may be the worst thing you could do." He notes that "many commercial websites attempt to do and be everything for everybody. The intentions are good but the results are not." These are powerful words. How are we swayed? By whom? Are these ideas we should consider? Absolutely. Everything should be considered, but we need to look at our primary market, and make sure that any additions, deletions, or changes are done wisely, given that most of us have limited time and money. What is your focus? What are your goals? Do the very best to present them in the most professional manner possible. Being a nice guy in terms of response to ideas may not be best for the business. I've seen websites crumble because the owners didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, and they were adopting this idea and that idea (which may have been good, but just not at this time or on this site) and ended up with complexity and confusion for visitors. Analyze. Organize. Avoid confusing your visitors. Stick to your goals and focus on them. As McGovern says, "Your website can be like a mirage, promising an endless space full of limitless possibilities. But if you keep filling it up you will turn it into a desert of complexity where everything seems to be in reach but nothing really is." Consider subscribing to the Giraffe Forum. It'll come to you in email form. I've learned more from Gerry McGovern than from any other Web expert. And there are many others who are excellent. He simply tops my list.
Beginning August 27th, Remote Professionals, an organization I belong to and highly endorse, will launch its first Mentor Program series. This 12-week program will meet for one hour per week to offer essential information to those new to providing services remotely. This series has recruited some of the most experienced names in independent outsourcing to offer the information you need to get your business running smoothly and quickly. The Mentor program offers the information that the "old hands" wish they had known when they first started. Our goal is to help you shorten the learning curve, start out making more money and endure fewer costly mistakes. There will be three classes each on the topics of getting started, business identity, managing your business, and marketing your business (eg, getting those first -- and subsequent -- clients)! Our classes include: * Orientation * Importance of Contracts * Financial Planning * Niche Selection * Branding * Web Presence * Scheduling and Organizing your Time * Data Security and Client Confidentiality * Tax/Corporate Structure * Social Networking * Marketing Yourself Online * Selling and Subcontracting Each segment will provide a presentation and the opportunity to ask questions and make valuable, personal contacts with peers entering and already established in the outsourcing industry. To learn more about the program, and see the full descriptions, visit http://www.remoteprofessionals.com/events/mentorprogram08272008. If you want to learn more about the mentors, visit: http://www.remoteprofessionals.com/events/mentoring-program/meet-the-mentors. Sincerely, Angela & Jodi www.RemoteProfessionals.com The Elite Outsource Network T/F: 888-890-8226